The Royal Bank of Scotland is preparing for the possibility that it may simply close its banking operations in India, after failing to find a buyer.
A spokesperson for the RBS Group said that the company was now looking at “other options” to a full sale, which include a partial sale or a full wind-up of its operations in the region.
RBS began seeking buyers for the business in 2015. But it is reported to be considering giving up on this plan, due to the relatively high costs of keeping the operation going, and concerns about the potentially lengthy sale process due to the regulations involved.
The Edinburgh-based, London-listed bank in recent years has been steadily selling down non-core units of its Indian business as part of a wider retreat from what proved to be an ill-fated global expansion that led to its bail-out by the UK Government during the 2008 financial crisis.
Other recent cost-cutting measures have seen RBS withdraw from numerous investment banking and other areas. Last month, it sold its exchange traded fund range to China Post Global, the international asset management arm of China Post & Capital Fund Management, a Chinese government-owned postal company, for an undisclosed amount.
This follows on from sales last summer that included RBS’s Luxembourg UCITS and alternative investment management company business, with €28.5bn under management, to BlackFin for an undisclosed amount.
“After examining a number of potential sale options for our banking business in India, we have concluded that it is not feasible to sell the business in its entirety,” said the spokesperson.
“We will now look at other options which may include a wind-down, or sale of individual parts of the business, and we will communicate to clients accordingly.”