By Jonathan Davies

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has reported losses of £3.5bn for 2014, down from a £9bn loss in 2013.

The bank, which is still part-owned by the taxpayer following a government bailout during the financial crisis, said its figures were negatively affected by the write-down of its US business, Citizens, which cost £4bn.

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said he expects the bank to return to profit in two years.

Mr McEwan also revealed that he would not be taking a bonus this year, but admitted that other staff will still receive bonuses totalling £421m, 21% lower than in 2013.

The Chancellor George Osborne has written a letter to RBS' new chair Howard Davies, saying he expects senior executives to not be paid a bonus.

Mr Osborne wrote: "I would also expect that, as in the past, no executive directors or members of the executive committee will receive bonuses, despite improved profitability."

"Given the extraordinary support it has enjoyed in the past from taxpayers, I know you recognise that RBS must remain a backmarker on pay and continue to show responsibility and restraint."

Mr McEwan defended the overall bonus pool, stressing that it was "fair pay" and was needed to attract talented workers to the bank.