Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has posted an attributable profit of £392m for the third quarter of 2017, compared to a loss of £469m in the year ago quarter. This is the group’s third successive quarter of profit.

Total income for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 dipped to £3.16bn from £3.31bn in the third quarter of 2016.

The group’s net interest income rose 6% to £2.3bn from £2.16bn a year ago, while operating expenses declined 26% year-on-year to £2.14bn.

Litigation and conduct costs fell to £125m from £425m in the third quarter of last year.

RBS CEO Ross McEwan said: “Our strategy to deliver a simpler, safer, customer-focussed bank, is working. We have grown income, reduced costs, made better use of our capital and continued to make progress on our legacy conduct issues. Our core bank continues to generate strong profits and we remain on track to hit our financial targets.”

The bank’s personal & business banking (PBB) unit includes the reportable segments of UK Personal & Business Banking (UK PBB) and Ulster Bank.

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The UK personal & business banking (PBB) unit of RBS reported an operating profit of £782m, as against £591m in the third quarter of 2016. The division’s total income increased to £1.55bn from £1.34bn in the year ago period.

Ulster Bank’s operating profit slumped to £41m from £68m a year earlier. The unit’s total income rose £150m from £146m in the third quarter of 2016.