RBS continues to reduce stake in Citizens

<p>RBS is looking to sell shares worth up to $3.3 billion to reduce its stake in the US bank.</p>

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is continuing to reduce its stake in US bank Citizens.

In an announcement, the UK state-owned bank announced that it would be selling shares worth up to $3.3 billion (£2.2 billion), meaning that it will own less than half of Citizens once the transaction is completed. The shift is designed to allow RBS to concentrate of its main UK retail business and cut back on its operations abroad.

The news sparked a surge in Citizens' share price closing at $24.80 on Friday (March 20th). It meant that since its start of trading in September the US bank has seen its stock rise by 15 per cent. It was a different story for RBS, however, as it saw its share price fall by 0.45 per cent as of 09:44 GMT on Tuesday (March 24th).

This latest move is part of RBS' long-term strategy to return to profit. It has previously outlined its intentions to pull out of 25 countries, lowering the number of which it operates in to just 13. This is expected to result in wholesale job losses, with the majority coming from outside its UK operations.

Announcing its latest trading update in February, Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive, commented: "The days when global domination mattered more to RBS than great customer service are well and truly over

"RBS will be stronger, it will be simpler and it will be much more focused on the UK large corporates and the western European corporates and our big financial institutions."

History with Citizens

RBS originally purchased Citizens in 1988 in a deal worth $440 million. Under its stewardship the US bank became one of the biggest regional banks in the country but following the UK government bailout in 2008, RBS has needed to scale back its operations.

Build your confidence risk free
Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.