The state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has announced quarterly pre-tax profits of £826 million.
The results have pleased the bank which suffered a loss of £1.5 billion during the first quarter of last year and £2.2 billion during the final three months of 2012.
Losses as a result of 'bad' loans fell by 26% to £1 billion, whilst its non-core assets reduced by 79%.
RBS also strongly suggested that the Government would begin to consider the sale of RBS shares around the middle of this year, five years after it was rescued from the brink of collapse and bailed out by the UK taxpayer.
Stephen Hester, chief executive of RBS, said: "These results show pleasing progress in delivering a strong and valuable RBS for all our stakeholders. We expect to substantially complete the Bank's restructuring phase during 2014.
"We are seeing the start of a pick-up in loan demand and have a strong surplus of funds ready and available to fully support economic recovery. Across the Group we are working hard to improve what we do for customers and to better position the Bank for future growth," he declared.
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