Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (LON:RBS) has agreed to sell its offshore leasing business to specialist lenders Investec PLC (LON:INVP) and Shawbrook Bank for £150mln, Sky News reported on Wednesday.
FTSE 100 listed RBS - which is still 72% owned by the UK taxpayer after its £45,5bn bailout at the height of the financial crisis – is to offload the operations of its Lombard Finance subsidiary based in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Gibraltar, Sky News said.
Challenger bank Shawbrook, which was taken private last year, and the UK arm of London listed Anglo-South African bank Investec have agreed to split Lombard’s Jersey and Guernsey assets, with Investec said also to have snapped up the businesses on the Isle of Man and Gibraltar
RBS put around £200mln worth of assets up for sale in October in order to comply with the new ring-fencing rules coming into force in 2019, which are designed to separate banks' retail operations from riskier businesses such as investment banking.
The rules mean RBS's UK retail business cannot own assets outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).
In his UK Budget in November, Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed that the government is preparing to re-privatise RBS by selling £3bn worth of shares before the end of the 2018-2019 fiscal year and a further £12bn of its stake over the coming four years.