RBS has another year of losses to add to its list. Eight straight years, it is hard to think of another business outside the Guardian newspaper that can sustain such a dire record.
And not just a small loss either, a £2.5 billion loss. Yes it can be argued that the main cause here is yet more fines and covering for litigation and fallout from the financial crisis, plus the need to plus a huge hole in its pension deficit. On this basis the core bank is making money, is still the largest SME lender and gearing back up in the mortgage market with Natwest soon to top best buy mortgage tables once more.
However, a loss is a loss. The share price is around half of where it needs to be to break even in a Government sale. 50% loss of £48 billion. At least, with a tier one ratio of 16% we can be assured that the bank could survive another recession.
Pity its shareholders though, every year is the promise of Jam tomorrow in terms of dividends and profits. Every year it does not happen, we are far closer to the next recession than the last too; will RBS make it out of Government control before 2020, I would not bet on it.