But McEwan also announced a new review, taking in the bank's cost base, its "customer-facing" businesses, its IT operations and its organizational and "decision-making structures." The bank will announce the outcome of that review in February.

Royal Bank announced the changes as it posted a 634 million pounds operating loss in the third quarter, less than half the loss of a year earlier.

Its return on equity from its core business was 7.7%.

The Edinburgh lender acknowledged that the U.K. economic recovery is "gaining traction" but said it expects "a continued muted performance from our core businesses in the short term, due primarily to the continued effects of low interest rates, excess liquidity, a smaller balance sheet, and lower securities gains from our liquidity portfolio."

-- Written by Laura Board

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