Earnings after taxation surged in the three months to the end of March 2014, compared with £393 million in the same part of 2013, RBS said in a results statement.
Market expectations had been for a net loss of £200 million and revenues of £4.7 billion, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Pre-tax profits meanwhile doubled to £1.64 billion from £826 million a year earlier, but the troubled bank warned that it still faced plenty of issues to deal with.
Revenues declined two percent to £5.05 billion, as the bank’s markets division continued to shrink.
RBS, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, remains 81-percent state-owned after it was rescued with £45.5 billion of taxpayers’ cash during the global financial crisis, making it the world’s biggest-ever banking bailout.