Royal Bank of Scotland has had preliminary talks regarding the possible sale of its US retail business Citizens to Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG). Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is also understood to have considered a bid.
RBS said in November it would speed up a planned stock market flotation of Citizens in New York, aiming to start the process in the second half of 2014 and to fully sell the business by the end of 2016. Both MUFG, Japan’s largest banking group, and SMFG, the No3, have signalled an openness to consider a bid for Citizens, but there are significant hurdles in both cases,
RBS is under pressure to bolster its capital position, which has come under strain following a £3 billion charge for litigation and claims.