DEALTALK-After 30 U.S. deals, RBS may cut Citizens adrift

Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:51am EST
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* RBS says Citizens could be sold, but not for a while

* Could look for quicker sale, pressure from regulator

* T.D. Bank, regional banks likely to look at good assets

* Citizens valuation seen $8.8-$13.6 billion

By Steve Slater and Matt Scuffham

LONDON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland made 30 U.S. acquistions as it expanded during the past quarter of a century, and the talk now is that retrenchment means its 31st deal will see it selling the lot.

Citizens - valued at up to $13.6 billion by Credit Suisse - is increasingly seen as an adjunct to RBS, whose chief executive Stephen Hester is focused on British retail and commercial banking and a slimmed down investment bank.

While RBS, 81 percent state-owned since a bailout, maintains Citizens is a core asset, it is coming under political and regulatory pressure to consider a sale.

"I think it will happen in the next year or two. It makes sense for business reasons and timing," said Chira Barua, senior banks analyst at Sanford Bernstein in London.   Continued...