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

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

A key role for the APA in 2012 will be to support HMT (Her Majesty's Treasury) and the FSA (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 nevertheless paid 2.5 billion pounds while part of it.

Britain owns around 82 percent of RBS and 40 percent of Lloyds after bailing them both out during the 2008 credit crisis, and the APA said on Tuesday that it still expected Britain to recoup an overall 5 billion pound ($7.92 billion)profit from the programme.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Myles Neligan)