RBS to wind up Indian operations soon
Royal Bank of Scotland announced that it would close its retail banking branches in different phases and informed its customers. Except for its back-office operations, RBS would stop functioning in India. Reportedly, RBS has been struggling to deal with losses A RBS spokesperson stated that they would exit retail banking in India but would fully support their customers in this transition and avoid disruption.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, founded in 1727, is a banking company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. RBS is Britain's largest state-run bank; it offers various banking options like private banking, personal and business banking, corporate finance, and insurance across Europe, North America, and Asia. Established in 1921, RBS India has branches in–Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Noida, Pune, and Vadodara.
Royal Bank of Scotland had stated that it was in the process of consolidating its Indian retail and commercial businesses in May'13. Later, RBS had shut 23 branches out of 32 in India.
Royal Bank Of Scotland Group had decided to close its operations in India except the back-office outsourcing business. As of 2014, the business of RBS in India had reduced by 50%, the net balance sheet of RBS India for 2014 showed a fall off by £1.7-2 billion. The announcement came amidst the reduction in its corporate lending, trade finance, lending to banks, etc.
RBS Group stated: "We will have to sit down and take a final call on it. But we will begin talks with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to see what the process is as they are strict with licenses."
Singapore-based DBS Group Holdings and South Africa-based FirstRand were reportedly in separate talks to acquire RBS India according to some people directly involved. The deal wouldn't involve RBS India's back-office outsourcing business. No other details of the deals were revealed; it was estimated that the transactions might fetch $200 million. RBS India's business comprised of cash management, trade finance, and institutional and corporate banking.
Competition Commission of India (CCI) had approved Sanctum Wealth Management's acquisition of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group's wealth management business in India. The agreement to transfer RBS India's private banking operations, staff and client relationships to Sanctum Wealth Management was signed in Sep'15. Sanctum Wealth Management was led by Shiv Gupta, who was also the head of RBS India's private banking operations.
In Jan'16, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) Bank was in talks with RBS India to acquire its corporate banking portfolio in a Rs 3000-crore worth deal. The successful acquisition was expected to widen IDFC's network in India.
RBS Group had suspended the sale process of selling the Indian business in its whole. The Scotland-based bank had stated that it was "not feasible to sell the business" in its entirety. It was considering other options like selling individual businesses or winding down the operations in India. An auction for RBS India was scrapped after the bidder didn't fulfil some RBS' conditions.
Competition Commission of India (CCI) had approved Singapore-based DBS Bank's acquisition of a unit of RBS India. DBS India would acquire corporate loans business from RBS India branches. Reportedly, the agreement for the sale was signed by both the firms in March 2016. Clearing DBS' proposal, CCI stated that the deal between DBS and RBS wasn't likely to affect the competition in India adversely.