Tuesday’s Headlines: RBS – “The Biggest Balance-Sheet Time Bomb in History”

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RBS is a mess, and it’s unloading assets left and right in an effort to stabilize the government-owned bank, according to a Wall Street Journal article today.

The bank, which is 82 percent owned by the British government, has pledged to get rid of the bulk of the remnants from a troubled history of acquisitions and ill-fated expansions by the end of 2013. However, the bank will be left with a pile of bad assets that it plans to burn off over several more years. The bank says selling its most-unpalatable assets at a steep discount would eat into its capital base.

RBS already sold U.S. personal loans, small business loans in Britain and Irish real estate investments – mostly to U.S. and Japanese banks and hedge funds. Now it hopes to do away with a luxury London hotel, a Romanian bank, a pub run by British film director Guy Ritchie and a fleet of jumbo jets – among the remaining 175 deals deemed less desirable.

This appears to be a trend, according to the paper, as BNP Paribas and HSBC are also struggling with the losses of shedding assets.


Other News:

Confessions of an insider trader. [Businessweek]

Small multi-family offices with concierge service are taking business from large banks. [Investment News]

Standard Chartered investigated for deals with Iran. [Financial Times]

B-schools jump on the online MBA program. [Businessweek]

Citigroup plans to double number of retail outlets in China. [Reuters]

Morgan Stanley trading-loss frequency rose in second quarter. [Businessweek]

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