RBS Reports 10% Rise in Investment Banking Profits

Financial News, August 5, 2003 | Go to article overview

RBS Reports 10% Rise in Investment Banking Profits


Byline: Vivek Ahuja

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has added to the positive tone in the European banking sector posting 10% year-on-year increase in pre-tax profits to [pounds sterling]1.74bn ([euro]2.5bn) from its corporate banking and financial markets division for the first half of 2003.The corporate banking division's profits before goodwill amortisation and integration costs in the first six months of 2003 increased by [pounds sterling]158m to [pounds sterling]1.74bn from [pounds sterling]1.58bn in the first half of 2002. The division offers corporate and commercial banking, treasury and capital markets, structured and leveraged finance, and trade finance services to companies and institutions.

Income from corporate banking and financial markets rose 12% to [pounds sterling]3.3bn from [pounds sterling]2.9bn in the first half of last year. The strong performance leaves the division on track to beat the [pounds sterling]6.1bn income reported for the whole of 2002.

The results follow similarly encouraging quarterly numbers from competitors such as Credit Suisse Group, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank, as well as strong quarterly results from US investment banks and securities firms. Credit Suisse posted better than expected results on Tuesday, with net profits of Sfr1.3bn compared with a net loss of Sfr579m a year ago.

RBS achieved the profit growth in its corporate banking unit despite reporting a 13% year-on-year increase in provisions for bad debts and write-offs of fixed asset investments from [pounds sterling]356m in the first half of 2002 to [pounds sterling]404m in the same period this year.

RBS attributed the strong corporate banking figures to a rise in dealing profits from [pounds sterling]656m in the first half of last year to [pounds sterling]913m in the first half of 2003. The bank said the rise "reflected increased volumes in the UK and the US as a result of growth in customer activity in interest rate protection, mortgage securitisation and foreign exchange". …

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