Royal Bank of Scotland reports heavy loss due to potential costs of regulatory investigations

LONDON – Royal Bank of Scotland, which is majority-owned by the U.K. government, reported Thursday a loss of 446 million pounds ($690 million) for the first quarter of 2015 after taking charges for regulatory probes and restructuring.

The bank, which was bailed out by the British government during the 2008 financial crisis, says the loss compared with a 1.2 billion pound profit in the same period last year.

RBS said it booked restructuring costs of 453 million pounds and “litigation and conduct charges” totalled 856 million pounds. Like several global banks, RBS has been under investigation for alleged manipulation of international foreign exchange markets.

Other losses were blamed on the reclassification of the International Private Banking business and a fall in the market price of Citizens shares.

CEO Ross McEwan says the bank’s performance is not satisfactory and predicted a tough year. He said a streamlining of international operations should return the bank to profitability.

“I won’t be satisfied until we’re making money and doing great things for customers,” he said.

Shares in RBS were down 2.5 per cent in morning trading in London.