Royal Bank of Scotland outlines plan to sell banking arm
PUBLISHED: 09:31 16 December 2015 | UPDATED: 09:31 16 December 2015
Royal Bank of Scotland has confirmed plans to put its Williams & Glyn banking arm up for sale after receiving approaches from potential suitors.
The part-nationalised bank said it had received a number of informal approaches and would launch a sale in the first half of next year, which would run alongside preparations for a stock market listing should it fail to sell the business.
RBS must sell the Williams & Glyn network of 300 branches by the end of 2017 under European Union rules on state aid following the bank’s £45 billion bailout at the height of the financial crisis.
It is thought Williams & Glyn could be worth more than £1.5 billion
Reports suggest buyers could be rival banks from the UK and Europe.
Williams & Glyn has 1.8 million customers, net loans and advances to customers of £20 billion and savings deposits of £24 billion as at the end of September.
RBS said it remains committed to the EU deadline to offload Williams & Glyn, with aims to agree a sale by the end of neat year, with the deal finalised by the end of 2017.
It submitted a banking licence application for the Williams & Glyn arm at the end of September and aims to separate it out from the main RBS business in the first quarter of 2017.
Chief executive Ross McEwan said: “Separating out the Williams & Glyn business is a complex process, but we remain focused on meeting our state aid obligation, achieving full divestment by the end of 2017, and reaching the best outcome for shareholders, customers, and staff.”