RBS sells chunk of Charter One ahead of exit from US banking

Tim Wallace
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RBS QUIT retail banking in and around Chicago yesterday, selling 94 Charter One branches to US Bancorp.

The British lender is planning a wider exit from the US, aiming to float its American bank Citizens, which includes Charter One, later this year.

It bought into Charter One a decade ago, and is now partly reversing that move.

Although RBS will remain some stake in Citizens after the float, it intends to wind that down in time as part of its wider plan to focus on UK retail banking.

The 94 branches in the Chicago area give Charter One only a small market share in the region.

As a result the offering is not core to Citizens and so RBS hopes it will get a better price in this separate sale than it would by keeping the branches in place for the initial public offering.

The banks have not disclosed the price paid for the branches.

They come with $5.3bn (£3.2bn) in deposits and $1.1bn in loans. RBS retained the branches’ mortgage loans.

The deal still needs regulatory approval, expected to be granted in the coming months.