IndusInd Bank leads race for RBS's retail assets in India: report

IndusInd Bank is reported to be the top contender for the retail assets of Royal Bank of Scotland in India, which the European banking major is in the process of closing.

A deal could be announced as early as next week, according to a report in The Economic Times.

Others in the race for RBS's India assets include Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, according to the report.

RBS, which started a process of consolidating its retail and commercial banking business in India, had earlier failed to close a deal to sell these to Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

RBS was earlier planning to transfer 23 of its 31 branches across the country to HSBC. The transfer process, however, could not be carried out as the Reserve Bank objected to the transaction, which contravened the central bank's branch licensing policy.

Instead, RBI asked RBS to surrender these branch licences.

The report quoted banking sources close to the deal as saying that all these banks have submitted their bids, and a deal is likely to be announced within two weeks.

Neither RBS nor the bidders have given any estimates on the valuation of RBS's retail assets in India, banking sources put the valuation at around Rs150-200 crore.

The deal will involve RBS' India retail assets, including its high net worth customer base and some of the existing RBS staff, but it will not get any offices or other physical assets.