Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) earned £4.5 billion of profits during the first half of 2006 thanks to a ten per cent growth in its income, the group announced today.
The owner of NatWest saw its profits rise by 21 per cent after tax despite encountering a significant rise for costs covering customers defaulting on loans and mortgages.
In total insolvency increases hit profits by £680 million, a rise of 19 per cent. Despite this the group's expansion, both geographically and in terms of market share, helped fuel the group's growth.
"We have always placed great emphasis on organic income growth, operating efficiency and risk management, and these are again visible hallmarks of the group's results," said RBS' chief executive, Sir Fred Goodwin.
"When coupled with growing customer numbers, increasing geographic diversity and strong capital discipline, the results demonstrate the strength of our business model for market conditions now, and its sustainability in the future."
International income for the group rose by 17 per cent, significantly more than the seven per cent UK growth. This was in part helped by the 20 per cent growth record for Ulster Bank, "benefiting from the continued strength of lending demand in Ireland", the RBS statement said.
As a result basic earnings on shares in RBS rose by 17 per cent.
Shares in the group increased sharply during afternoon trading, up for the day by 1.16 per cent.