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07 December 2023

RBS may sell China business


By Reuters

Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday said it is considering selling most of its banking businesses in China, part of plans to exit Asia following its ill-fated purchase of ABN Amro.

RBS, which has already sold its entire stake in strategic partner Bank of China, plans to sell ABN Amro China's retail and commercial banking businesses, but will keep ABN's global operations, RBS said in an e-mailed statement.

RBS said it will ensure customer services will not be affected before the businesses, which include its Van Gogh-branded business, are sold and transferred to their new owner. RBS, which reported the biggest annual loss in British history for 2008 and received a capital injection from the UK Government, is selling its Asian banking units to raise cash.

The lender boosted its presence in Asia through its acquisition of ABN Amro in 2007, a deal blamed in part for its financial woes.

The Dutch Government nationalised ABN Amro last October as part of a rescue of Belgian-Dutch group Fortis, which bought ABN in a consortium with RBS and Spain's Santander for €70 billion (Dh321.2bn).