The sale of Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) retail and commercial assets in China to Standard Chartered ran into and unexpected hurdle and are currently “in limbo,” the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the deal. In the course of conducting due diligence, Standard Chartered found fault with RBS’s consumer deposit base and customer product mix in China; notably, a higher-than-expected number of RBS customers in China were locked into specific products. Sources told the paper that the chances of the deal being completed had fallen to “around three out of 10” though talks could regain momentum if RBS showed pricing flexibility. Standard Chartered began exclusive talks with RBS last month to acquire assets in China, India and Malaysia. The discussions over the Indian and Malaysian assets are said to be on track.
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