RBS, the bank 81% owned by the taxpayer, has reported its fifth year of losses. This year the loss comes in at £5.2BN (the previous year the loss stood at £0.8BN).
Despite the loss, RBS has paid out £679M in bonuses.
RBS has taken a £5BN charge for loan impairments, which are write-offs to cover loans that are unlikely to be repaid. However, with the bank preparing itself for privatisation the size of the provisions and general atmosphere of "clearing the decks" should not come as too much of a surprise. RBS, by getting the bad news out of the way now, will be able to trumpet its achievements and progress when it is ready to return to the private sector.