RBS says closer to Government stake sale

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Part state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland said it has moved closer to being in a position for the Government to start selling its 82 per cent stake in the bank.

RBS made an operating profit of £3.5bn last year, up from £1.8bn the year before and the highest since its bailout in 2008.

“It (the bank) is much closer now to being in the good financial health that would allow shareholders to receive a dividend and the Government to start to sell its stake,” said chairman Philip Hampton.

The bank said it had set aside a further £450m to compensate customers mis-sold insurance on loans and mortgages, taking its total provision to £2.2bn. Some £1.3bn has already been paid out.

RBS has also set aside £700m to compensate small businesses mis-sold complex interest rate hedging products.

The bank made a pre-tax loss of £5.2bn, hit by a £4.6bn charge for losses on the value of its own debt.