State-owned RBS reveals talks to offload equity derivatives business to third party

City A.M. Reporter
ROYAL Bank of Scotland (RBS) has said it is in talks to sell its retail investor products and equity derivatives business, as it slims down its investment bank.

Several industry sources have identified BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, as front-runner to buy the business.

RBS, which is 81 per cent owned by the government, declined to comment. BNP also declined to comment.

The bank said in June it would offload the investor products and equity derivatives business as it pares down its investment bank to appease politicians who want it to focus on lending to domestic households and businesses.

“RBS continues to make progress with its sale of the IP & ED business and is in discussions with a third party in connection with such sale,” the bank said yesterday.

The value of the deal has yet to be determined. Shares closed up one per cent while BNP Paribas shares rose 0.5 per cent in Paris during trading yesterday.