Wednesday business round-up: Four key stories of the day

Royal Bank of Scotland wants to be a 'stronger, safer bank'
Royal Bank of Scotland wants to be a 'stronger, safer bank'
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Here are four of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland confirmed it will post a loss for 2015 after taking a £2.5 billion hit, including more mammoth charges for mis-selling scandals. Bosses at the bank said the latest “clean-up” charges are set to see it remain in the red when it posts full-year results next month – its eighth year running of annual losses.

Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management said it expects market conditions to remain “difficult” as it announced the retirement of chairman Roger Cornick. The group, which saw its assets under management rise from £283.7bn to £290.6bn during the three months to 31 December, also said it has identified further cost savings on top of a previous target of £50 million.

Shareholders in National Australia Bank overwhelmingly approved the spin-off of its Clydesdale Bank arm. At a general meeting in Melbourne, almost 97.1 per cent of the votes cast were in favour of demerging the Glasgow-based lender, which is set to float on the London market next month, valued at more than £2bn.

Technology giant Apple was braced for its first sales decline in 13 years, despite selling a record 74.8 million iPhones in the final three months of 2015, in what may prove to be a turning point for the world’s most valuable company. The group said revenue could fall at least 8.6 per cent during the January-March quarter, compared with a year earlier.