RBS boasts 'plentiful' funds to meet capital requirements

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group said newly enforced capital requirements could be met by its current business plans, with 'plentiful surplus funding' available.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group said newly enforced capital requirements could be met by its current business plans, with 'plentiful surplus funding' available.

The bank, in which the state owns an 81% stake, was today informed by the Bank of England's Prudential Regulatory Authority of its new required capital ratios, after an investigation in March found UK banks had a combined capital shortfall of around £25bn.

RBS confirmed its confidence in improving its Core Tier 1 capital ratio and its ability to meet the new capital requirement through continued delivery of its recently updated business plan.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester said the board was pleased with RBS's "progress and momentum" towards completing its return to full financial health.

"Our balance sheet has been transformed and our core business has plentiful surplus funding to support continued growth in lending."

The bank said it remained committed to "a prudent approach to capital".

Earlier in the month, RBS unveiled its annual and first-quarter results where it informed of its progress towards a fully loaded Basell III core tier-one capital ratio of around 9.0% by the end of the year, with a 50 basis points improvement to 8.2% in the first quarter.

At that time RBS outlined the key elements of its new business plan, including reductions in the size of its Markets business and Non-Core assets, as well as the plans for a partial IPO of its US subsidiary Citizens Financial.

On Wednesday the bank reiterated that "some" of the actions in its business plan "extend beyond year end 2013".

RBS restated that the plan also contained provision for lending expansion in its core UK Divisions but "does not call for issuance of contingent capital instruments, though this remains an option open to the group".

The Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee (FPC), which is tasked with monitoring macroeconomic risks, in March applied potential tougher measures of risk, fines and losses to UK bank balance sheets and judged that banks needed to take further action to bolster their capital ratios.

The FPC called for the banks to achieve a common equity tier 1 capital ratio, based on Basel III definitions and after the required adjustments, of at least 7% of risk-weighted assets by end 2013.

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland Group were up 1.7% to 347.9p at 12:10 on Wednesday.

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