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Royal makes pounds 160 a second.

THE Royal Bank of Scotland is smashing corporate records on profits north of the border following last year's pounds 22billion takeover of English rival NatWest.

The Royal - which is now the most profitable bank in Britain - yesterday issued a trading statement saying it was on-track to meet market expectations of record profits of over pounds 5billion for this year.

That means the bank is coining in profits of more than pounds 160 a second.

The buoyant statement sparked a revival in Royal Bank stock among City brokers with shares in the Edinburgh-based bank shooting up 60pence to 1606 pence.

That surge saw the Royal's market value soar by pounds 1.7billion in just two hours to pounds 45.76billion - more than the combined total of all other Scottish companies.

The profits mark a victory for the bank's chief executive Fred Goodwin - dubbed Fred the Shred for his ruthless job cutting.

Goodwin said: "We have been able to grow income and reduce costs and are ahead of schedule on both counts."

But union leaders say the huge profits came at a "heavy price" with 16,000 jobs being axed in the past year from the combined workforce of 90,000 and another 2000 set to go by March 2003.

The banking union UNIFI slammed the huge profits. A spokesman said: "Success has been bought at a heavy price for our members who have lost their jobs as a result."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 18, 2001
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