RBS scraps sale process for India banking business
Other | Photo Credit: Reuters

Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has called off a process to sell its Indian banking operations and will now look at other options that may include winding down the business, Bloomberg reported citing a company statement.

The bank has about 600 employees in India where it had a balance sheet of Rs 19,000 crore ($2.8 billion) and a loan book of Rs 11,200 crore at the end of March 2015.

An email to RBS didn’t elicit any response by the time of filing this article.

Media reports had earlier suggested that IDFC Bank, Singapore-based DBS and South African lender FirstRand were in the race for RBS’ India banking business.

The India banking business of RBS comprises corporate and institutional banking, trade finance and cash management.

The lender, which was bailed out by the UK government during the 2008 recession after it bought ABN Amro, has been reducing its India presence for the past couple of years.

The bank sold part of its banking and credit card business in India including the mortgage portfolio in 2013 to RBL Bank. The PE-backed RBL Bank was then known as Ratnakar Bank.

RBS also sold its offshore Indian loan book to the UAE’s largest lender, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and its private banking unit to Sanctum Wealth Management, a company led by the head of the business, Shiv Gupta.

As part of its global restructuring plan, RBS had sold its diamonds and jewellery financing division to IndusInd Bank in April last year.

RBS is not the only foreign bank to face problems in India. HSBC had late last year announced plans to close its private banking unit in the country while Standard Chartered had said it would cut jobs in India.

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