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RBS mortgage approvals jump after ‘significant investment’ in advisers

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  • 02/08/2013
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RBS mortgage approvals jump after ‘significant investment’ in advisers
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has posted an increase in mortgage lending during the second quarter after undertaking a programme to retrain its mortgage staff at the start of the year.

The group, which includes RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank, said it had made a ‘significant investment’ to retrain all its mortgage advisers in the first quarter of the year.

From a slower start of £2.8bn in Q1, mortgage approvals hit £4bn in the three months to June 30. This was a 42% rise from Q1 to Q2 and 15% up against the same period in 2012.

The bank said that slow start to the year was due to a lack of adviser availability as they took part in training programmes.

It said that increased advertising in the following three months had also prompted a surge in mortgage applications.

RBS added that it had a strong pipeline of approvals and expects this to feed into completions in the third quarter.

Mortgage Solutions recently reported that the RBS Intermediary Partners brand would return to the market later this year as part of wider plans to increase lending at the group.

RBS Group’s first-half results showed pre-tax profit of £1.37bn, a reversal of the £1.68bn loss it made in the first half of 2012.

Group operating profit increased 5% to £1.678bn over the reporting period, and net attributable profit was £535m, compared to a loss of more than £2bn in H1 2012.

The bank paid out £3895m in regulatory and legal costs, and a further £185m for PPI claims. The bank has now set aside a total of £2.4bn for PPI mis-sales.

Outgoing chief executive Stephen Hester, who is to be replaced by retail head Ross McEwan, commented: “RBS Group has earned its first two consecutive quarters of overall profit since 2008. We report first half pre-tax profits totalling £1.37bn. 

“The results of our successful restructuring continue to show benefits – capital strength and liquidity up, balance sheet, non-core assets and non-core/Irish losses all down, again.

“The business challenges ahead lie principally in improving future operating trends and sustaining the focus and consistency needed to make further progress. RBS can be a ‘really good bank’ for customers and shareholders. That is our goal.”

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