RBOS 'chastened' by first-half loss (RTE)
RBS, which owns Ulster Bank and First Active, said it was hit by £5.9 billion in write-downs of the value of risky assets, due to the credit crunch. These were partially offset by an £812m reduction in the value of the debt it carried.
Chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin, who was forced to launched a £12 billion rights issue earlier this year to shore up the firm's balance sheet, said the loss was a 'chastening experience' that 'I and my colleagues regret very much'.
He said difficult conditions in financial markets 'look set to be compounded by a deteriorating economic outlook'.
The bank said bad debts on mortgages and other loans jumped 58% in the six months to £1.5 billion.
Ulster Bank contributed £376m to profits, up from £347m a year earlier, though in euro terms there was a slight drop to €486m. Loans to Ulster Bank customers grew by 26%, while