Bloomberg News

RBS Cuts 300 Staff After Failing to Find Cash Equities Buyer

February 12, 2012

(Updates with company comment in fourth paragraph.)

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s biggest government-owned lender, cut as many as 300 staff in its equity capital markets and cash equities units after failing to find a buyer for the businesses.

The lender said in January it would cut about 3,500 jobs at the investment-banking division and sell or close the unprofitable cash equities, mergers advisory and equity capital markets divisions. The bank sold its Hoare Govett corporate broking unit to Jefferies Group Inc. last month, transferring about 50 jobs. It has been unable to find buyers for the rest of the U.K. equities business.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester, 51, decided to dispose of the units after volatile markets and increasing regulation rendered it difficult to generate returns that beat their cost of equity.

“Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS,” the Edinburgh-based bank said in an e-mailed statement. “After careful assessment of the various approaches made by interested parties, we have decided to start winding down parts of our EMEA Equity Capital Markets and cash equities businesses, and certain associated activities globally.”

The lender remains in active discussions with potential buyers for various other parts of the units including Asia and the Netherlands, it said in a statement.

--Editors: Francis Harris, Jon Menon

To contact the reporters on this story: Gavin Finch in London at gfinch@bloomberg.net; Liam Vaughan in London at lvaughan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net


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