McEwan continues to trim banks' global presence

Royal Bank of Scotland offloading Middle East and Africa business

Ross McEwanRoyal Bank of Scotland is accelerating its withdrawal from international markets by selling its corporate loans and debt capital business in the Middle East and Africa, according to sources.

The decision is believed to form part of chief executive Ross McEwan’s (pictured) wider plans to scale back the bank’s global presence.

He announced last February that he wants to make RBS a smaller, more customer-focused bank. Bloomberg this morning reports that the Middle and Africa business is the latest to fall victim of the pruning.

Mr McEwan is attempting to turn RBS away from global expansion and be more attentive to domestic customers. Jacco Keijzer, RBS’s head of debt capital markets for the Middle East and Africa based in Dubai, is understood to have left the lender earlier this month.

Bloomberg says the loan book runs to several billion dollars and is being sold off in parts because the bank was unable to find a buyer for the whole business. A short list of potential buyers has been drawn up for the international arm of its Coutts private bank.

RBS itself sold retail banking business in the Middle East to Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC in 2010.

RBS is one of the biggest lenders to state-owned Dubai World, which in 2009 announced it was freezing payments on about $26 billion of debt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.