The private banking business of RBS has registered an operating profit of £66m in the third quarter of 2017, a surge of 32% compared with £50m in the year ago period.

For the quarter ended 30 September 2017, the division’s adjusted operating profit was £52m, down 2% compared to £53m the corresponding year ago third quarter.

The unit’s quarterly total income remained almost unchanged at £166m. Operating expenses at the private banking unit were £103m, down 8% from £112m in the year ago period.

Overall, the RBS group posted net profit of £606m for the third quarter of 2017, versus a loss of £327m last year. The group’s net interest income rose 6% to £2.3bn from £2.16bn a year ago, while operating expenses slumped 26% year-on-year to £2.14bn.

RBS CEO Ross McEwan said: “Our strategy to deliver a simpler, safer, customer-focussed bank, is working. We have grown income, reduced costs, made better use of our capital and continued to make progress on our legacy conduct issues. Our core bank continues to generate strong profits and we remain on track to hit our financial targets.”