Reports

Asset Gathering at Coutts, Adam and Co Less Than Spectacular

Contributing Editor, 25 February 2005

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The wealth management businesses of the Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK’s second largest bank, failed to grow assets under management last ye...

The wealth management businesses of the Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK’s second largest bank, failed to grow assets under management last year, despite seeing a 17 per cent rise in total income to £468 million ($893.7 million). But excluding the acquisition and disposal the total income figure fell to an increase of 12 per cent last year.

Investment management assets were stable in 2004 at £22.3 billion ($42.5 billion). In a statement from RBS, the bank said assets under management rose 7 per cent given a constant exchange rate. The acquisition of Bank von Ernst (November 2003) and the selling of Coutts business in Miami are excluded from the numbers.

RBS said total expenses were up by 16 per cent or £65 million in 2004. The bank said the increase was to support the growth in income and reflected the acquisition of Bank von Ernst.

A spokesman for RBS was not willing to elaborate to WealthBriefing any further on the rise in expenses. But the new London offices of Adam & Co—one of the major constituent parts of RBS’s wealth management business—added a substantial amount to these costs.

The bank said in its results statement that its wealth management division incurred a charge for provisions for bad and doubtful debts of £17 million, compared with £9 million in 2003, reflecting a small number of specific cases. The spokesman was not able to comment any further on this, nor say which part of the business the debts were incurred.

The wealth management business of RBS comprises Coutts, Adam & Co, The Royal Bank of Scotland International and NatWest Offshore.

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