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Italian Banking Giant Interested In Acquiring Coutts International

Stephen Little, Reporter, London, 25 November 2014

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Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo has become the latest bank to consider a bid for Coutts International, the private bank being offloaded by UK state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, a report says.

Italian banking giant Intesa SanPaolo has become the latest bank to consider a bid for wealth manager Coutts International, the private bank being offloaded by UK state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, reports the Financial Times.

According to the FT, a source close to the situation said Intesa was trying to persuade RBS to sell the whole of Coutts in addition to the international business. The news comes after Goldman Sachs was hired in September to advise on the move.

The FT said that Coutts International is expected to be valued at more than £500 million. Coutts and Intesa, meanwhile, both declined to comment when contacted by this publication.

RBS, which is currently still majority-owned by the UK taxpayer, has said previously that it is reviewing its options for the Coutts International business which will include merging the business with another, joint ventures or a possible sale to reduce its non-UK footprint.

RBS is considering the shape of its private banking business and has previously stated it intends to dispose of its international private banking operations, including through a sale.

Other banks that have expressed interest in buying parts of RBS’s international private banking operations have included DBS, Banque SYZ and Julius Baer.

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