RBS to Cut Equity Staff

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Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will start winding down parts of its equity capital markets and cash equities business, staff were told this morning by global head of equities Frank McKirgan, according to a report by eFinancialNews.

RBS announced last month that it would restructure its wholesale banking division, including possibly selling some of its investment banking businesses. That means parts of the equity capital markets and cash equities businesses, which are mostly in London, will now be wound down, impacting up to 300 employees.

There was no word regarding how the announcement could impact RBS equity employees in Stamford, CT, where RBS has a large trading floor across the street from an even larger UBS trading floor.

The bank remains in discussions with potential buyers for other businesses, including the Asian cash equities and mergers and acquisitions businesses and the M&A business outside of Asia, said RBS in a statement.

"Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS," the statement added. "After careful assessment of the various approaches made by interested parties, we have decided to start winding down parts of our Emea Equity Capital Markets and cash equities businesses, and certain associated activities globally."

Staff reportedly received letters this morning spelling out when they would meet with HR to discuss their individual exit packages. Some staff will be kept on the short term to wind down the business, while others will not be needed in the office again, according to one source.

Earlier this month, RBS agreed to sell its RBS Hoare Govett corporate broking operation to Jefferies, including advisory, sales, research and trading staff, equivalent to around 50 staff. Around a fifth are thought to be research staff.

Other brokers including Exane BNP Paribas, RBC Capital Markets and Societe Generale are thought to be talking to RBS individuals and teams from the cash equities platform, according to headhunters.

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