The lender was the worst hit giant bank in the financial crisis, and has since been pummelled by bad debts as well as fines and compensation payouts for bad behaviour before the crisis struck.
Although there are still some major costs in the pipeline, Bernstein believes the big charges for the sector should come to an end this year.
“RBS has generated [around] £7bn of profit before tax from on-going operations in the past four years only to take some £14.5bn below the line,” said analyst Chirantan Barua. But he now hopes 2015 will see “the end of significant one-offs.” He expects the PPI mis-selling scandal will only take another £1.5bn to £2bn from banks. The big banks have paid out £22bn in redress so far.
RBS and HSBC should be helped the most by rising interest rates, as they have excess deposits, and will soon gain better spreads on loans.
By contrast Standard Chartered could be the worst affected, as US interest rate hikes may hurt the emerging markets in which it specialises.