DBS Group (D05.SGX), Southeast Asia’s biggest bank, will take over Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) retail and commercial banking businesses in China, Bloomberg reported. DBS China will assume responsibility for nearly 25,000 RBS clients in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, increasing its deposit base by US$900 million and reducing its loan-to-deposit ratio to 70% from 79%. The transfer, which didn’t involve a fee, is part of a wider asset disposal program at RBS. The UK lender is restructuring its business following a government bailout and record losses. For Singapore-based DBS, it represents an opportunity to diversify. The bank currently relies on Singapore clients for about two-thirds of its revenue, but wants to reduce this to 40% in five years. The plan is for 30% of revenue to come from Greater China and another 30% from South Asia and the rest of Southeast Asia. The bank wants to have 50 branches in China within three years, up from the current 16.
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