Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC reported a $2.98 billion third-quarter net loss but indicated that loan impairments are "plateauing" and losses may not rise high enough to trigger use of a government plan to insure its toxic assets.

"Our confidence has increased, [and] our belief is that a further, major recession is less likely than it was back in February or even in August," RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester said on a conference call with reporters on Friday.

He said that the brighter outlook is due to improvement in the bank's expectation of real estate price stabilization in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as a flattening of loan impairment charges.

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