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Queen’s bank Coutts in sights of Italians

One of Italy’s biggest lenders wants to buy Coutts, the Queen’s private bank, from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Intesa SanPaolo has joined the bidding for Coutts international business which RBS has put up for sale, but it is hoping to persuade the Edinburgh bank to sell it the UK business too.

RBS is said to be resisting such a move, but Intesa emerged from recent EU stress tests as one of the eurozone’s most strongly-capitalised banks with €13 billion (£10.3bn) of excess capital. A generous offer for Coutts may prove tempting to the struggling British bank.

First round bids for the international business are expected by the end of the year, according to the Financial Times which reckons it would be valued at about £500m. It made operating profits of £67m on £21.5bn of assets under management.

Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS are said to be among the other banks pursuing Coutts International.



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