Banking | United Kingdom

In an effort to build a “safer, stronger bank,” majority state-owned lender Royal Bank Scotland has accelerated plans to cut its corporate and institutional banking business and concentrate on core markets. In its 2014 annual report published in February, RBS announced that CIB, which includes global transaction services, will reduce its geographical footprint from 38 to 13 countries. Trading and distribution platforms in the United Kingdom, the US and Singapore will be retained as will coverage teams in a number of Western European countries and a small sales team in Japan.

“We have not changed the strategy; we have sped up the pace of change,” RBS chief executive Ross McEwan stated in a February press call with journalists. “Last year I said 75% to 80% of our assets would be in the UK. That’s what we’re building towards today. Last year we had a plan for CIB but, as we got into that, we said let’s accelerate it much faster, now that we’ve got a much better capital position and we’ve also got a management team that’s structured to actually make the changes, where that was not the situation 12 months ago.”