RBS ready to privatise in 2014
RBS reported a profit of £826m for the first quarter of 2013 compared with £1.4bn loss in the same period last year.
In a video statement on the bank’s website Hampton gave the clearest signal yet that the government is preparing to sell off its 82% stake in RBS.
Hampton said: “This is our best quarterly performance for some time now.
“Our balance sheet is substantially fixed… our operating profitability has come through quite strongly.
“What we want to do is have a business that is performing well and enabling the government to start selling shares from let’s say the middle of 2014 on; it could be earlier, that’s a matter for the government.
“But certainly we think the recovery process will be substantially complete in about a year or so’s time.”
Despite the positive news investors reacted negatively and RBS shares fell more than 4.5% in the first 10 minutes of trading on the London Stock Exchange.