(Reuters) – State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland will release 800 million pounds from provisions it had set aside to cover losses on bad loans after an improvement in economic conditions, especially in Ireland.
RBS said on Tuesday it also expected losses from bad loans to be “significantly” lower than its previous guidance of 1 billion pounds this year, helped by improving asset prices.
Its shares jumped 4.2 percent to 376.5 pence by 0705 GMT, the strongest performer in a flat European bank index .SX7P.
RBS, 80 percent owned by the UK government, is selling assets from its “bad bank” quicker and at better prices than it had expected. That means it does not need to set aside as much for the assets in its RBS Capital Resolution (RCR) unit, which was set up this year to sell off or run down some 29 billion pounds of assets it no longer wants.
It will release about 500 million pounds of the money it had set aside for RCR in the third quarter, much of it related to commercial real estate assets in Ireland. RBS had set aside 4.5 billion pounds to cover losses in RCR.
Its Irish unit Ulster Bank will also release about 300 million pounds in provisions in the same quarter.
RBS said if market conditions remained favorable it could cut its provision pot further and accelerate the wind-down of RCR assets. It had planned to run it down by the end of 2016.
RBS said revenues in its corporate and institutional banking unit, which includes its shrunken investment bank, had been weaker than expected in the third quarter. The bank, which will release third-quarter results on Oct. 31, said there remained uncertainties relating to conduct and litigation matters.
It is one of six banks holding talks with Britain’s financial regulator to settle allegations of collusion and manipulation in the foreign exchange market, sources have said. Each bank could have to pay more than 200 million pounds in a settlement that could come in the fourth quarter.