- Royal Bank of Scotland booked a fall in first-quarter profits and warned on its annual guidance, as Brexit uncertainty sapped demand for loans.

Net profit for the three months through March fell 13% to £707m, while pre-tax operating profit fell 16% to £1.01bn.

The bank said the fall in operating profit primarily reflected £265m of lower income, partially offset by £73m lower operating expenses.

It stuck to its annual cost reduction target for the year of £300m after achieving £45m of the total in the first quarter.

However, the bank warned its other targets could be harder to achieve.

'While we retain the outlook guidance we provided in the 2018 annual results document, we recognise that the ongoing impact of Brexit uncertainty on the economy, and associated delay in business borrowing decisions, is likely to make income growth more challenging in the near term,' RBS said.

Previous guidance had included a 2020 target of a return on tangible equity of more than 12%.

The company warned last year that its 2020 target of a cost-to-income ratio of less than 50% was increasingly challenging for the business, with risks being to the downside.

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