RBS bank posts $34B yearly loss, largest ever in U.K.

The Royal Bank of Scotland RBS has posted the largest annual loss in British corporate history of $34.4 billion, or 24.14 billion pounds, for 2008.

It unveiled a massive restructuring program that will hive off many of its international businesses.

The bank also confirmed in Thursday's earnings report that it will offload toxic assets into a government insurance program. It has already been part-nationalized under bailout packages worth more than 20 billion pounds.

The huge annual loss compares with a 7.3 billion pound profit in 2007.

The bank's revenue fell 15% to 25.87 billion pounds.

RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester — who replaced Fred Goodwin after he resigned in the wake of the once strong bank's financial downfall — says that the bank is "charting a path to standalone strength."

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