RBS' 'put customers first' shocker as it loses £8.2bn

Has chief exec Ross McEwan discovered the secret to success in business?

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 05 Mar 2014

Having admitted last month, to general apathy from the markets, that it would probably make an £8bn loss when it posted its annual results today, guess what? RBS has posted an £8.2bn pre-tax loss (its sixth consecutive loss, if you're counting).This time, though, shareholders are less impressed: shares were down 6.84% in early trading.

The boring stuff first: excluding bad banks and 'legacy' costs, RBS actually made an operating profit of £2.5bn. But that doesn't take into account things like the £4.8bn it spent on establishing its bad bank, RBS Capital Resolution, and the £3.8bn it set aside for fines and, basically, PPI compensation.

The juicy bit is, obviously, the bonus pool, which this year has fallen to a measly £576m, 15% lower than last year's £679m. Of that, investment bankers will be paid £237m.

Which brings us neatly to CEO Ross McEwan's big announcement: that RBS is going to become customer focused. You can tell it's exciting - look how thrilled these staff are:

Image credit: RBS. Pointed out by @MadameButcher

'We now have a strategy to deliver a sustainable bank with a clear ambition: we want to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy, in every one of our chosen business areas by 2020,' McEwan told shareholders (and, presumably, those excited staff) this morning. Apparently RBS will be restructured into a 'highly effective' bank that is 'structured around the needs of its customers'. Which rather makes you wonder what it was structured around before, but there you go....

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