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Thursday, 19 March 2009

RBS to sell retail banking

ROYAL Bank of Scotland is putting up for sale the retail and commercial banking operations in Singapore, which it bought from Dutch lender ABN Amro last year.

The operations employ about 660 people. RBS currently has 2,368 staff in Singapore.

It arrived at the decision after a strategic study of its operations worldwide. Besides Singapore's retail operations, it is also putting banking operations in countries such as Vietnam, Philippines and Pakistan for sale.

RBS' chairman Sir Philip Hampton, who disclosed this on Wednesday, said that getting a good price will be the main consideration. RBS is partially nationalised, after a 25 billion pound bailout by the British government in the past six months.

But Sir Philip, who is in Singapore as part of his whirlwind tour of Asia, sad RBS would still be able to support its Asian Pacific operations.

He was also confident that there would be no fourth rescue efforts on the troubled UK bank, even though he anticipated that this would be a very tough year for it.

During his visit, he has discovered that staff morale in this region continues to be high, despite the problems which the bank is facing back home. The bank will pay whatever it takes to retain the best and talented, he assured.

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