JP Morgan is near to closing a deal to buy RBS Sempra for $1.7bn. The deal, which could be announced as soon as today, excludes the more valuable North American parts of RBS Sempra Commodities. JP Morgan had been in exclusive talks to buy all of RBS Sempra, but US plans to stop proprietary trading by banks prompted it to rethink its plans. JP Morgan is keen to challenge the top three commodities firms — Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and Barclays. Regulators ordered RBS to offload its 51 per cent stake last November as a condition of receiving more taxpayer money.