RBS to wind down retail, commercial banking in India

RBS had announced a deal more than two years ago in July 2010 to sell its Indian retail and commercial banking operations to HSBC.

New Delhi: British banking major RBS on Friday said it is exploring other options for winding down its retail and commercial banking businesses in India, after a proposed sale of these assets to HBSC has fallen through.

However, there would be no impact on RBS' Markets, International Banking and Private Banking businesses in India which will continue to offer market leading products to corporate, financial institutions and wealth management clients, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group said in a statement.

RBS had announced a deal more than two years ago in July 2010 to sell its Indian retail and commercial banking operations to HSBC.

However, the deadline for the proposed transaction lapsed Friday without the requisite conditions for the deal to be met.

RBS said, "The India Retail & Commercial business is less than 0.5 percent of the RBS Group's remaining Non-Core assets.

"RBS will continue to wind down the Retail & Commercial business in India in an orderly way and is exploring options for this."

The UK-based banking major further said it will also reduce the loan portfolios "in line with the stated Group policy of running down Non-Core assets".

But there will be no immediate change for customers, who will be notified of any changes impacting them in a timely way and to minimise disruption, it added.

"HSBC Asia Pacific is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc. HSBC remains committed to pursuing growth in India, a key strategic market for the Group, through its existing operations," HSBC said on Friday.

In a separate statement, RBS also said that its business in India is profitable and comprised total assets of 190 million British pounds as on September 30, 2012. It has 31 branches in the country that generated revenue of 42 million in the first nine months of this year.

However, these businesses account for only 0.5 percent of the group's remaining non-core assets worth over 65 billion British pounds, RBS said.

HSBC is one of the major foreign banks present in India with approximately 30,000 employees in its banking, investment banking and capital markets, asset management, life insurance, software development and global resourcing operations.

In 2008, the HSBC Group acquired a majority stake in HSBC InvestDirect that has enabled it to offer retail brokerage services to its customers across a wider geography in the country.

It also has a joint venture with two of India's leading public sector banks, establishing Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company in June, 2008.

HSBC's network in India comprises 50 branches of HSBC India, 29 branches and 11 franchisee outlets of HSBC InvestDirect and 28 offices of its 26 percent held Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company.

Globally, HSBC group is present in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.

With assets of over USD 2.7 trillion as on September 30, 2012, HSBC Group is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations.