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Yes Bank confirms interest in RBS India network

INDIA's Yes bank said it is interested in buying Royal Bank of Scotland's retail operations in the country but it has not done due diligence on the assets yet.

Following reports that Yes bank was in talks to buy Royal Bank's branch network in India, the firm's chief executive, Rana Kapoor, confirmed it is interested in buying the unit.

Six weeks ago, Royal Bank said a deal to sell the division to HSBC agreed in June 2010 had lapsed, without giving reasons.

Taxpayer-controlled Royal Bank has been trying to offload the Indian retail and commercial business since 2010 as part of a programme to sell non-core assets to help reduce its balance sheet.

Asked about the possible acquisition of the Royal Bank assets, Mr Kapoor told reporters in India the company would be "receptive" to such opportunities to boost its retail network.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Royal Bank said the Edinburgh-based giant is "continuing to explore all wind-down options" for its Retail & Commercial business in India. The business serves 400,000 customers from 31 branches.

The disposal of the retail business in India will not have any impact on the divisions that serve corporate, financial institutions and wealth management clients there. The commercial operation deals mainly with small and medium sized enterprises while the corporate arm works with bigger businesses.

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