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RBS India to cut staff; winds down retail, commercial ops

by FP Staff  Feb 24, 2013 20:15 IST

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REUTERS - Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) (RBS.L) is to lay off staff in India as a part of its plan to wind down its retail and commercial operations in the country, it said in a statement, without specifying how many employees would be affected.

The announcement comes after British Prime Minister David Cameron last week said that he wants the state-controlled bank to speed its restructuring, making it clear he is keen to return it to private ownership as soon as possible.

The British government owns 82 percent of RBS, having pumped in 45 billion pounds of capital when the bank neared collapse in 2008.

A plan by RBS to sell the Indian businesses to HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L) fell through in November last year, more than two years after the two banks began negotiations.

RBS is scaling back its international operations after the 2008 bailout and has been urged by Britain's Finance Minister George Osborne to focus on domestic activities.

"There is no impact on RBS's markets, international banking and private banking businesses in India," the bank said. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Sumeet Chatterjee in Mumbai; Editing by David Goodman)