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RBS shares slip as lender swings to losses and misses expectations for third quarter

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Via CNBC

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) reported a third-quarter attributable net loss of £315 million ($406.9 million) on Thursday, missing the £988 million profit forecast from Reuters.

The British lender was hit by a £900 million charge in the last quarter to settle mis-selling claims in the fallout of a payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal.

The PPI saga arose after British banks were found to have sold customers insurance they did not need over a number of years. The substantial payout for the third -uarter results from a spike on claims ahead of the August 29 deadline set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), U.K.’s financial watchdog.

RBS also cited a particularly challenging quarter in its NatWest Markets (NWM) business, which saw its total income fall by £419 million compared to the third quarter of 2018, coming in at £150 million.

The bank’s third-quarter attributable net profits for the same period last year were £448 million, when the lender set aside £100 million ($128 million) to account for economic uncertainties such as Brexit and warned of a “highly competitive market.”

The net operating loss came in at £8 million, compared to a £961 million profit for the third quarter of 2018.

Here are some key highlights for the quarter:

  • Operating expenses £2.6 billion vs. £2.4 billion a year ago.
  • Return on tangible equity stood at – 3.8%, versus 5.4% a year ago.
  • Common equity tier 1 capital ratio of 15.7%, versus 16% in the last quarter of 2019.

The bank’s new CEO Alison Rose is due to take over from the departing Ross McEwan on November 1, the day after the U.K. is set to leave the European Union.

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The bank’s 2020 outlook, revised in last quarter, had cited “continued economic and political uncertainty and the contraction of the yield curve” as rendering it “very unlikely” that the target return on tangible equity of more than 12% and cost:income ratio of less than 50% will be achieved in 2020.

“Despite the near-term challenges faced by the business, particularly in relation to the ongoing impact of Brexit uncertainty and other macroeconomic factors, we retain the 2020 target capital and balance sheet metrics as set out in NatWest Markets Group’s 2018 Annual Report and Accounts,” RBS said in its earnings report.

Typically sensitive to Brexit updates, RBS shares have endured a tumultuous ride since June 2016 but are up more than 18% year-to-date. Following its second-quarter earnings, CFO Katie Murray said the bank had completed its planning for a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

Shares of RBS fell nearly 3% in the early trade on Thursday. 


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