BrokerDealer.com blog update courtesy of curating multiple breaking-news sources.
Facing another multi-billion pound loss, Royal Bank of Scotland announced that its investment bank will cut 60 percent of assets and exit most international markets.
“Let me be quite clear, this marks the end of the standalone global investment bank model for RBS,” Chief Executive Ross McEwan said, according to Reuters.
RBS’s investment bank will withdraw from 25 of the 38 countries in which it operates to focus more on U.K. operations, while offering scaled down services in other markets kept largely to service its U.K. customers.
“We want to continue to run a small markets operation in the U.S. and Asia, but those operations will be considerably smaller,” McEwan told the Financial Times. “A lot of people trade in U.S. dollar and yen, this is what our corporate clients need and we are going to be there for them.”
The company added that RBS will remain in the U.S. to serve “a select group of North American clients with strong links into the U.K.”
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Job losses in the investment bank, which is estimated to have 16,000 to 18,000 employees, are expected to be significant.
Rory Cullinan, who has headed the RBS “bad bank” which has divested or closed unwanted or unprofitable operations, will now become executive chairman of the corporate and investment bank, replacing Donald Workman, who will become executive chairman of RBS’s private banking franchise, called Coutts. Sir Howard Davies, who was the first chairman of British financial regulator Financial Services Authority (FSA) from its formation in 1997 until 2003, was confirmed as chairman of the bank, replacing Sir Philip Hammond who is leaving for a top role at GlaxoSmithKline.
The announcement of the drastic measures came as RBS announced a loss for 2014 of 3.5 billion pounds ($5.4 billion). The loss was affected by a 4 billion pound write down on Citizens Financial Group in the U.S., which will likely be sold or might go public. The annual results were a sharp improvement from last year’s loss of 9 billion pounds, but the bank, which received a 45 billion pound bailout by taxpayers during the financial crisis, has not turned a profit since the bailout. Instead, it has posted 49.5 billion pounds in losses since that time.
RBS also announced that it is selling $36.5 billion of U.S. and Canadian loan commitments to Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group for around $3 billion, generating a $200 million loss for RBS.
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