The Royal Bank Of Scotland Group Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 03, 2012 4:30 am ET

Executives

Stephen A. M. Hester - Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Bruce W. Van Saun - Group Finance Director and Executive Director

Richard O’Connor - Head of Investor Relations

Analysts

Andrew P. Coombs - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Chirantan Barua - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Jason Napier - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Rohith Chandra-Rajan - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Chintan Joshi - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Raul Sinha - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Ian Gordon - Investec Securities (UK), Research Division

Manus Costello - Autonomous Research LLP

Michael Helsby - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Michael Trippitt - Oriel Securities Ltd., Research Division

Thomas Rayner - Exane BNP Paribas, Research Division

Peter Toeman - HSBC, Research Division

Edward Firth - Macquarie Research

Arturo de Frias Marques - Grupo Santander, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today's conference call will be hosted by Stephen Hester, Group Chief Executive of RBS.

Stephen A. M. Hester

Good morning, everyone. Thank you very much for joining us. With me, as usual, is Bruce Van Saun, our Finance Director; Richard O'Connor, who you also know, Head of Investor Relations. The -- this morning, a slightly different format than other half years, because obviously, we're not doing a physical presentation. I hope all of you have seen our physical presentation via webcast, which was up for 7:00 this morning in addition to our releases. And in that context, therefore, we're not going to re-go over that ground, and we're really going to spend this morning's session answering any questions that you may have which, of course, Richard can do afterwards if we don't get to all of them.

So let me simply say by way of introduction that I believe RBS is making good progress, albeit, clearly, we're doing it in the face of a set of challenging conditions in economic and regulatory terms. We have 2 jobs, as you know. The clean-up job, I think, continues to go well. We're on course for the 5-year timetable we set out. And on every measure, we're getting stronger and safer, important in these difficult times and in showing how we can ride through some of the current storms that have been going on in financial markets.

Secondly, we do have a good ongoing bank that we're building and that is poised to respond even better when economic times allow. The vast majority of our ongoing businesses are already making double-digit ROEs. They're all capable of doing double-digit ROEs, better than the cost of capital as well. And I believe that we'll see the upturn once our customers see the upturn. In the meantime, we're working hard to make them as strong and as resilient as they can be given the top line pressures there are. And I think that in many key areas, we're ahead of the game in terms of our restructuring activity, most notably the change of proportion of our wholesale activities to the total that we have effected.

So with those introductions, let me pass straight over to any questions you may have. And, operator, perhaps you can take us through that.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] We'll take our first question from Andrew Coombs from Citigroup.

Andrew P. Coombs - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

I have 3 questions, please, one on the charges you've taken, the technology issues and hedges, one on APS and the B shares and then finally, on provisions. If I start with the first one, it's interesting to see that you've taken the GBP 125 million charge for the June technology issues and the GBP 50 million charge on the interest rate hedge products above the line, whereas you've taken the PPI charge below the line. Is there anything we should read into that in terms of you think the first 2 potentially are ongoing or recurring costs, whereas the latter is seen to be a nonrecurring cost?

Bruce W. Van Saun

Well, I think on -- clearly, on the tech incident, that's an operating pitfall of the businesses that we operate in. We made a conscious decision not to push those back to the affected businesses because, in effect, those businesses secure the technology services from our centralized technology group. So we thought it was appropriate to show those in the Core performance and -- but not attribute those back, so you're able to see the underlying trends in the affected businesses. On the interest rate mis-selling, that's a little bit of a finer call. I think at this point, we left it in Core, and we could reassess that down the road. But PPI to us was something that was really relating to prior periods. And so therefore, it's exceptional in nature, in size and time period, and we felt it was appropriate to leave that one in exceptionals.

Andrew P. Coombs - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

And just to move on to the second question, I noticed you're a bit more firm in your dialogue regarding APS. You talk about more of an announcement, I think a [ph] formal regulatory clearance. But certainly you're talking -- or it seems very certain we're going to hear that in the second half. On that front, I mean, perhaps you could also update us on the B share and any renegotiations there are on that front. Or are they continue to be viewed as completely separate to the APS exit?

Bruce W. Van Saun

Well, I think our focus has been on APS exit. That's for the moment. I think the DAS repurchase and B share simplification is something that's more for down the road. As in over the next 18 months, we're very focused on sustaining our capital ratios through the whole period of RWA inflation with CRD IV and some of the local regulator initiatives. And so dividend is farther out in the future. And since the DAS relates to the dividend, I think that can wait for another day.

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