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Could Royal Bank of Scotland turn out to be a money spinner for UK taxpayers?

Despite the fact that the UK banking sector has been on the up over the last few days, many people will be flabbergasted to see UK taxpayers showing a £1 billion paper profit on the 70% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland. Chief executive Stephen Hester has certainly turned the business around in the short term and his decision to effectively "kitchen sink" all of the bad news in one move could form a solid base for the future.

However, Mr Hester is potentially in line for a £10 million cash and share bonus if he is able to get the share price over 70p next year from the current level of just over 54p. This is by no means a dead cert, but if the UK economy does improve and bank lending does increase in the short to medium term there is no doubt that a 70p share price is in no way out of reach. There is speculation that while Royal Bank of Scotland could actually surprise on the upside when announcing figures later this week, Stephen Hester is set to try and dampen hopes for the immediate future by reiterating the fact it will be "a long, hard struggle".

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