RBS sells overseas wealth arm to Swiss bank UBP

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Royal Bank of Scotland Group has agreed to sell its international private banking and wealth management business to Swiss bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP).

The state-backed group said the deal would not affect the UK operations of its Adam & Co and Coutts brands.

Edinburgh-based RBS is selling relationships managed from Hong Kong, Monaco, Singapore, Switzerland, Qatar and the United Arb Emirates, with assets under management of about 32 billion Swiss francs (£22.3bn) as of 31 December.

The price paid by UBP will be partly determined by assets under management when the deal closes towards the end of this year, and RBS said it expected to receive a premium.

“The resulting capital benefit to RBS is expected to be modest after writing off goodwill related to the business and taking into account anticipated exit and restructuring costs,” the bank said.

Alison Rose, chief executive of commercial and private banking at RBS, said: “Last year we set out a clear strategy to create a truly UK-focused bank. This announcement is another important step in that process. Following an extensive review, it was clear that the bank we are building would not be the most appropriate owner of the business being sold.

“We gave careful consideration to identifying a buyer with the capability to take on this business in order to minimise the impact on clients and staff. We believe that in UBP we have found a good long term owner for this business.”