RBS set to shed 20,000 jobs to focus on ‘core’ business

LONDON - Britain's part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) could make around 20,000 redundancies as it aims to focus on its core business, according to media reports on Sunday.

By (DPA)

Published: Sun 22 Feb 2009, 8:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:56 AM

New chief executive Stephen Hester is set to announce a cull of around 10 per cent of the bank's global workforce, as he forces the troubled bank to focus on its core activities, several British newspapers reported at the weekend.

The bank could also sell off its divisions in Australia and Asia, as it unveils its annual results on Thursday.

RBS could retreat from around half of the 60 countries it currently operates in, according to the reports.

The British government bought a 68 per cent stake in the troubled lender last year, in return for a 20 billion pound (26 billion dollar) bail-out.

RBS could place its so-called toxic assets in a ring-fenced business outside its core structure, a report in the Sunday Telegraph said. That non-core subsidiary would hold around 200 billion pounds worth of bad debts.

Much of RBS' difficulties stem from a flawed takeover of the Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007.

Hester became chief executive of RBS last year after the departure of Sir Fred Goodwin, following the government's bail-out of the bank.

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