British authorities are still eyeing a potental exit in 2012 of bailed-out lender Royal Bank of Scotland from the Asset Protection Scheme (APS) that was designed to insure RBS' riskiest assets.

The Asset Protection Agency (APA), whch administers the scheme, said in its interim report today that RBS' departure from the programme this year remained on the cards.

"A key role for the APA in 2012 will be to support Her Majesty's Treasury and the Financial Services Authority in their deliberations over RBS' potential exit from the scheme in the course of the year," it said.

The programme was set up to act as an insurance cover on RBS's most toxic assets, as well as for rival part-nationalised bank Lloyds.

Lloyds ended up opting out of the scheme but still paid £2.5 billion sterling while part of it.

Britain owns around 82% of RBS and 40% of Lloyds after bailing them both out during the 2008 credit crisis. The APA said today that it still expected Britain to recoup an overall £5 billion profit from the programme.