In addition to the PPI charge, RBS performance in Q3 2019 was also down due to the challenging three months faced by NatWest Markets


An RBS location in Bradford, West Yorkshire. (Credit: Mtaylor848/Wikimedia Commons.)

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has taken an operating loss before tax of £8m in the third quarter 2019, compared to the operating profit before tax of £961m reported during the same quarter in 2018.

The retail bank attributed the third quarter loss to the £900m charge it had taken due to the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) scandal.

The bank said that its NatWest Markets business faced a challenging quarter, which also contributed to the loss. NatWest Markets’ core income for Q3 2019 is £184m, which is 44.4% lower than what was reported in Q3 2018.

RBS’ operating profit before tax for the previous quarter that ended 30 June 2019 was £1.68bn.

The bank’s total income in Q3 2019 slipped 20% from Q3 2018’s figure of £3.64bn to £2.9bn. In the previous quarter, the bank reported total income of £4.08bn.

RBS said that its costs for the reported quarter came down by £20m, compared to Q3 2018.

So far in the current year, the retail banking company is said to have achieved a £193m cost reduction. Furthermore, the bank said that it is on track to reach its £300m target for the full year 2019.

RBS’ income across the retail and commercial businesses was down by 3.1% compared with Q3 2018 after excluding notable items.

In the UK personal banking (UK PB) business, gross new mortgage lending moved up to £8.6bn in Q3 2019, compared with £6.7bn to the previous quarter.

In the commercial banking unit, net lending was £100m higher than Q2 2019. The bank said that across its Business Banking, SME & Mid-Corporate, and Specialised business, lending continued to see a surge, with year to date growth of £1.6bn.

RBS chief financial officer Katie Murray said: “These results demonstrate our solid underlying performance in a tough operating environment. The core retail and commercial bank continues to perform well, and we are making good progress against our targets for the year.

“We have seen strong growth across the business and our sustained high levels of capital and liquidity mean we are well positioned to support our customers in these uncertain times.”