Royal Bank of Scotland releases 2018 annual financial results

RBS reported an operating profit before tax of £3,359 million and an attributable profit of £1,622 million for 2018 and proposes a final ordinary dividend of 3.5 pence per share and a 7.5 pence special dividend.
● Q4 2018 operating profit before tax of £572 million and an attributable profit of £286 million. Continued track record of delivery

Income resilient in a competitive market:
● Income increased by £269 million, or 2.0%, compared with 2017. Excluding notable items, NatWest Markets and Central items, income was stable.
● 2018 net interest margin of 1.98% decreased by 15 basis points compared with 2017. Q4 2018 net interest margin of 1.95%, or 1.97% excluding one-off items, was 2 basis points higher than Q3 2018.

Lower costs through continued transformation and increased digitisation:
● Compared with 2017, other expenses decreased by £278 million, or 3.6%, excluding one-off VAT releases in 2017, and FTEs reduced by 5.8%.
● We continue to transition from physical to digital services. 6.4 million customers now regularly use our mobile app, 16% higher than 2017. In UK PBB, total digital sales increased by 19%, representing 45% of all sales. In Commercial Banking, we successfully launched the Bankline mobile app in the Apple app store and our customers can now apply digitally for loans of up to £750,000, the largest value offered by a UK commercial bank, with approximately 50% of loans given a decision in principle in under 24 hours.

Stronger capital position:
● CET1 ratio of 16.2% increased by 30 basis points in 2018 and included: the impact of a £2 billion pre-tax pension contribution; the settlement with the Department of Justice; and full year ordinary and special dividends of £1.6 billion. Excluding these items, the CET1 ratio increased by 240 basis points driven by the profit and reduced RWAs.
● Active capital management reduced RWAs by £12.2 billion in 2018.
● RBS achieved a clear pass in the 2018 Bank of England stress test.

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