The bank’s performance was led by an eight per cent quarterly income rise to £8bn in its Global Banking and Markets division, which offset weaker performance in its retail and commercial arm following the disposal of its Global Merchant Services arm in the final quarter of 2010.
Impairment charges fell by nine per cent during the quarter to £1.9bn but RBS did incur a £1.3bn charge in relation to Ulster Bank and its non-core portfolios. In its UK Retail and Corporate arms the bank benefited from a £108m release of latent loss provisions, which it said offset the higher impairments incurred from Ulster Bank.
Meanwhile customer loan impairments represented 1.5 per cent of gross customer loans and advances, an improvement on the 1.6 figure posted for the previous quarter.
RBS also exceeded its UK lending targets, issuing new facilities of £56.9bn between March 2010 and February 2011, which was £6.9bn above target. Net mortgage lending during this period reached £9.4bn, which was £1.4bn above target.
The bank has made a provision of £850m for redress to customers over payment protection insurance (PPI).