Goldman Sachs, RBS planning S Korea branch exits

South Korea’s financial regulators last week approved plans by Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland to shut down their branch banking operations in South Korea, according to local reports.

Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland have been working to exit South Korea as part of their cost-cutting efforts, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Goldman Sachs plans to continue operations in South Korea via its brokerage branch, the Financial Services Commission said, according to the Yonhap News report, which said it was quoting from a prepared statement.

It also noted that Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, a Spanish lender, was “in the process of changing the status of its branch in Seoul to a representative office”, according to bank sources.

Kim Jin-hong, an official with the South Korean FSC’s banking division, told Yonhap News that investment banks were looking to scale back their costs, “amid tightened regulations on derivative instruments”.

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