RBS to close India business as part of global downsizing

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will close its corporate banking operations in India as part of a plan to shrink business and limit operations to two-thirds of the countries it currently operates in, reports quoting sources familiar with the situation said.

RBS, which once emerged the world's largest bank by assets, has since sunk after the 2008 financial meltdown and has been cutting costs under a £45 billion ($64 billion) government bailout.

The bank has cut thousands of jobs and sold assets to reduce expenses, in a bid to boost earnings after eight straight years of losses.

RBS, which has been in talks with Singapore's DBS Group Holdings and South African banking group FirstRand to sell its India business, decided to close the Indian business after failing to find a buyer, Reuters reported on Monday.

"After examining a number of potential sale options for our banking business in India, we have concluded that it is not feasible to sell the business in its entirety," the bank said in a statement. "We will now look at other options which may include a wind down or sale of individual parts."

The decision to close the India business is part of a strategy, announced last year by chief executive Ross McEwan, to cut down operations to 13 countries from the present 38.