Royal Bank of Scotland is to announce a restructuring this week to create a non-core division into which unwanted assets will be placed, a banking industry source said yesterday.
The source said the timeline for the whole process, including any possible asset sales, would be from three to five years.
The UK media reports said the bank would establish a new division that would sit within RBS but which will be ring-fenced from the rest of the group, while the non-core unit would report its figures separately. RBS declined to comment.
The media reports said earlier that RBS would also unveil up to 20,000 job losses as it reports results on Thursday.
Sources said RBS had hired Morgan Stanley to explore the potential sale of its Asian banking units as it looks to raise cash following its ill-fated purchase of ABN Amro.
The sources said the part-nationalised bank was likely to first explore options for its retail and commercial units but it would be willing to consider an offer for the investment banking operations if the price was right.
The reports said a similar core and non-core deal was planned for Northern Rock, under a government initiative aimed at kick starting lending into the economy.
The government is expected to inject between £5 billion (Dh26.31bn) and £10bn of new funding into Northern Rock as part of the deal.
No one at the Treasury was immediately available to comment.