Bailed-out UK bank returns to profit

British taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said the British government should be able to start selling off its stake within a year as the bank today reported its best quarterly profit since 2011.

In the clearest signal yet of a timetable for the bank’s return to the private sector, chairman Philip Hampton said the recovery would be “substantially complete” by the middle of 2014 and that RBS would begin preparing a prospectus with the Treasury to sell to investors.

First quarter figures confirmed the bank’s turnaround efforts were paying off as it swung out of the red with pre-tax profits of £826m (€977.5m) – its best performance since the third quarter of 2011.

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