Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Britain's biggest government-controlled bank, swung into loss in the first half after writing down the value of its Greek debt and setting aside funds to compensate insurance customers.
The net loss was £1.4 billion (Dh5.14 billion), compared with a profit of £9 million the year before, Edinburgh-based RBS said in a statement yesterday.
Analysts had estimated the bank would have a £571 million loss, according to the median estimate of five surveyed by Bloomberg.
RBS, the last of Britain's five biggest banks to report results, set aside £850 million to compensate clients who were improperly sold personal loan insurance. It also followed France's BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA and Germany's Deutsche Bank AG and wrote down its Greek debt by £733 million after signing the Institute of International Finance's rescue plan last month.
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"Economic and regulatory headwinds may be challenging," chief executive officer Stephen Hester said in the statement, "but the momentum that our people and restructuring actions have sustained thus far in the RBS recovery plan should continue to stand us in good stead."
RBS has declined 23 per cent in London trading this year, putting it behind HSBC Holdings and Standard Chartered and ahead of Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group.