Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has abandoned its plan to set up Williams & Glyn as a standalone listed entity, instead plans to sell it to now.

The move comes after the taxpayer-owned lender posted loss of £2bn for the first half of 2016, driven by £1.3bn in litigation charges.

The bank recorded restructuring charge of £630m during the period, of which £345m was related to Williams & Glyn.

"Due to the complexities of Williams & Glyn's separation, whilst good progress has been made on the programme to create a cloned banking platform, the Board concluded that the risks and costs inherent in the programme are such that it would not be prudent to continue with this programme," RBS said in a press statement.

RBS has already spent more than £1bn on an IT system for the 300-branch strong Williams & Glyn that will now not be required.

Last week, Santander UK made a formal bid to buy the Williams & Glyn unit. This is Santander’s second attempt for acquisition of Williams & Glyn, following the failure of a previous attempt in 2012 due to significant IT integration challenges.