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August 19, 2015updated 04 Apr 2017 12:50pm

RBS close to sell Russian banking operations: report

State-backed British lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is said to have moved closer in divesting its Russian banking assets to a local lender.

State-backed British lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is said to have moved closer in divesting its Russian banking assets to a local lender.

Two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that RBS is likely to agree to terms of the sale with the unnamed bank in the coming weeks.

A spokesman from RBS confirmed that the bank is exploring sale or wind-down options for its Russian unit, adding that the move forms part of its efforts to become a "simpler, stronger and more sustainable bank, more aligned to the needs of our customers in the U.K. and western Europe."

Company filings show that RBS comprised £1.6bn ($2.5bn) of Russian assets as of June end.

Earlier this year, the Edinburgh-based lender said it plans to reduce its geographical presence to about 13 countries from 38.

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