Majority state-owned lender, Royal Bank of
Scotland (RBS), has beaten analyst expectations with a first
quarter loss of £248 million ($364.1 million), down from a loss of
£902 million in the corresponding period a year ago.

RBS’ UK retail division posted profits before
tax of £140 million, (up from £17 million in the year ago quarter),
a gain wiped out at the Ireland-based subsidiary Ulster Bank,
posting a loss of £137 million, compared with a profit of $4

The bank’s US-based retail unit returned to
the black, posting profits before tax of £40 million (Q109

RBS said its UK retail division maintained
“good growth in the current account market………growing customer
numbers 3 percent to 12.8 million.”

In the first quarter, RBS’ market share of new
retail mortgage lending grew to 10.6 percent, ahead of its 7
percent share of the mortgage stock.

Group-wide, total income rose 3.3 percent from
the year-ago quarter to £8.94 billion, with operating expenses down
5.1 percent at £4.43 billion; impairments were down 6.3 percent at
£2.67 billion.