RBS reports $8 billion loss

London, Feb 24 (IANS) Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday reported losses of 7 billion pounds sterling ($8 billion) for 2016, taking its overall losses since its 2008 government bailout to over 58 billion pounds.

The taxpayer-backed bank has also admitted it will not return to profit until 2018, indicating that it will report 10 years of losses before it returns to the black, the Guardian reported.

“The bottom line loss we have reported today (Friday) is, of course, disappointing but given the scale of the legacy issues we worked through in 2016, it should not come as a surprise,” said RBS Chief Executive Ross McEwan.

“These costs are a stark reminder of what happens to a bank when things go wrong and you lose focus on the customer, as this bank did before the financial crisis,” said McEwan.

The loss, the bank said, was caused by 10 billion pounds of one-off items, including 5.9 billion pounds for potential fines and legal costs, largely related to an upcoming penalty from the US Department of Justice for mis-selling toxic bonds in the run-up to the crisis.

Ninety thousand jobs have gone since the bank was bailed out in 2008 as it pulled out of risky businesses and sold off huge parts of its business to reduce the number of employees to 80,000.

A total of 540 branches have been shut since 2014.

–IANS

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