Royal Bank of Scotland outlines plan to sell banking arm

Royal Bank of Scotland has confirmed plans to put its Williams & Glyn banking arm up for sale.

Royal Bank of Scotland has confirmed plans to put its Williams & Glyn banking arm up for sale. - Credit: PA

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.


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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.

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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.”

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