Date
20 September 2017
RBS plans to sell off the bulk of its non-British assets. Photo: Bloomberg
RBS plans to sell off the bulk of its non-British assets. Photo: Bloomberg

RBS eyes exit from Asia

Royal Bank of Scotland is discussing a potential retreat from Asia as it sheds many non-British and investment banking operations, the Financial Times reported.

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan aims to reduce the bank’s non-British activities to less than a quarter of its assets as part of an overhaul he launched soon after taking over the helm in 2013.

Visiting the bank’s Asian operations this week, McEwan held meetings in Singapore Sunday to discuss ideas for pulling back from the region. The meetings were first reported by Bloomberg. 

The bank employs about 2,000 people in Asia, serving mostly large corporate clients.

The discussions about a potential Asian exit come a month after RBS said it plans to wind down its fixed-income trading business in Japan after six years of consecutive losses in the country.

RBS, which has been in Asia since the 1820s, also has operations in mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Australia.

The bank, which is 80 per cent owned by Britain’s government, is seeking bids for the non-British operations of Coutts, its private bank.

Last month, RBS said it was considering an exit from central and eastern Europe and from the Middle East.

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