• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Back-up plan for 316 RBS branches

THE Government is reported to have put together plans to launch a 316-strong branch portfolio owned by Royal Bank of Scotland as a standalone state-owned small business lender.

Last month Spanish-owned Santander pulled out of a deal to buy the business, complaining of the expense and delays of transferring the operation.

This has left Edinburgh-based RBS at risk of missing a 2013 deadline to sell the portfolio, which was agreed with the European Commission.

According to a press report, a plan has been drawn up in Whitehall to be used in the event of 82% taxpayer-owned RBS being unable to find another buyer.

The business, which includes six NatWest branches in Scotland, would be branded Williams & Glyn's, a name used by a north-west of England bank previously bought by RBS.

It would focus on lending to small firms,

Edinburgh-based RBS had agreed in 2010 to sell the business to Santander for £1.65 billion before the deal collapsed.

However, even if it is successful in selling the portfolio to potential buyers such as Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Money and US private equity house JC Flowers, most in the City predict that RBS would be forced into a less lucrative deal.

RBS declined to comment.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.