Sat, Feb 22, 2014 - Page 15 News List

RBS to withdraw from investment banking: FT

Reuters

Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (RBS) is expected to announce its withdrawal from many investment banking activities as well as much of its international business in a move that is expected to reduce staff numbers by at least 30,000 over the next three to five years, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Thursday.

The newspaper said that the restructuring would be a part of a range of cost-cutting measures and disposals adopted by Ross McEwan, the bank’s new chief executive, who is looking to revive the fortunes of the partly nationalized lender, which was the subject of a £45 billion (US$75 billion) government rescue in 2008.

People familiar with the plans told the financial daily that the bank is expected to refocus on three groups — retail customers, small businesses and larger companies.

“My aspiration is not to run the world’s biggest bank. My aspiration is to run the best bank in the UK — nothing to do with size. A lot of our costs are old costs related to a big global group that we are not any more,” McEwan said in a video posted on the RBS Web site.

RBS on Wednesday said it had disposed off its structured retail investor products and equity derivatives businesses to France’s BNP Paribas to downsize its investment banking operations.

Last month, the bank was hit by past misdeeds charges of £3 billion, which is expected to leave it with a £7 billion to £8 billion loss last year, marking RBS’ sixth successive loss-making year since 2008.

RBS has been looking at strengthening its capital position through the sale of its US-based Citizens banking business, which accounts for about 14 percent of the group.

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