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Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland have finally recovered their post-EU referendum losses, jumping 5 per cent in early trading on Monday after the bank confirmed it is close to being freed from EU obligations to create a challenger bank under the Williams & Glyn brand.

RBS has spent more than £1.5bn over the last five years trying to boost competition by selling off branches and customers as a condition of its 2008 bailout.

However, last week the British government, which owns 72 per cent of RBS, said it has agreed a provisional deal for the bank to spend £750m on alternatives to boost competition.

The company confirmed this morning that the EU is exploring “alternative” ways to meet the state aid requirements.

Shares in the company were up 5.4 per cent at publication time, to 256p.

RBS is expected to report its ninth successive annual loss on Friday, but chief executive Ross McEwan told the FT over the weekend that he expects the bank to return to profit next year, saying “you’re going to see a great bank emerge out of this”.

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