Chairman Philip Hampton argued the progress in turning the bank around had been obscured by the £390m Libor fiddling fine and computer systems meltdowns.
Behind those problems he said the lender is getting back to good health.
“I believe we have now dealt with the worst of the legacy issues, and, even though that has been a drag on our efforts to complete the recovery plan we set out in 2009, we remain on course to substantially complete the restructuring of RBS during 2014,” Hampton told investors.
However beyond the schedule laid out by the bank, it will be down to the government to choose exactly when it will sell its stake,
He noted that last year the bank made an operating profit of almost £3.5bn with core units brining in £6.3bn as loan losses and costs all dipped through 2012.
Despite some hostile questions on pay and bonuses, 99.3 per cent of shareholders backed the bank’s remuneration report.
All of the bank’s directors were also re-elected with votes of above 99 per cent.