RBS in fresh talks over disposal of Indian retail arm

Picture: AP
Picture: AP
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Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is in talks over the sale of its retail and commercial banking operations in India, after a previous deal to sell the business to HSBC collapsed last year.

The state-backed lender has held preliminary discussions with IndusInd and domestic rival Yes Bank, but it is understood IndusInd has ruled out making an offer for the business, which has 31 branches and serves 400,000 customers.

A source close to the talks said that Yes Bank, which has more than 350 branches, is likely to start due diligence on the division soon.

RBS declined to comment on the negotiations, but a spokesman said: “We are continuing to explore all wind-down options for our retail and commercial business in India.

“There will be no immediate change for our customers, who will continue to be served by our dedicated staff and will be notified of any changes which may impact them in a timely way.”

RBS’s Indian retail business has assets worth £190 million and the group agreed a sale to HSBC in 2010 as part of its plans to cut non-core assets, but the deal lapsed in November.

The lender has also sold off a 30 per cent stake in insurance group Direct Line, which yesterday awarded French technology services company Capgemini a five-year contract to provide and run its new IT infrastructure.

Capgemini said the migration of Direct Line’s business and corporate applications to an independent IT platform would cost about £100m and is expected to be completed by the end of next year.