RBS to Close Down India Operations

Mumbai: The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is set to close its banking operations in India, having been frustrated in its efforts to find a buyer, according to a report in The Financial Times.

The UK-based bank has for a number of years been selling non-core units of its India business, which it had to undertake after overextending itself during the 2008 financial crisis – leading eventually to a bail out. It originally acquired its Indian business through the purchase of ABN Amro – at that stage, one of the largest foreign banks operating in India.

RBS began looking for a buyer in 2015, and was buoyed by interest from local lender IDFC headquartered in Mumbai, and Singapore-based DBS. There were concerns, however, that the process was taking too long and that the complications from strict regulations on the acquisition of banking businesses, has led RBS to take the decision to close its operations.

RBS’s Indian business provides financial services to institutional and corporate clients, as well as some retail banking, and it is thought that the shuttering process will lead to a loss of around 700 jobs. The bank will retain the services of approximately 13,000 employees in back office functions.