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RBS to pull out of up to 20 countries and set to post £8bn loss

Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to reveal plans to pull out of up to 20 countries this week as it unveils losses of as much as £8bn.

According to the Sunday Times, new chief executive Ross McEwan is set to launch a five-year cost saving programme, called Project Cook, which is expected to save the bank up to £3bn a year.

The plan will see big chunks of RBS’ once lucrative investment bank being axed as McEwan looks to focus the bank’s attention on the UK.

Former chief executive Stephen Hester attempted to curb its foreign activities but the bank still operates in 38 countries.

Citizens, its American bank, is already stated for a stock market listing and McEwan is thought to be keen to sell RBS Greenwich, its American investment bank, which was the world’s largest trader of mortgage bonds at the peak of the sub-prime boom.

Analysts have told the Sunday Times that McEwan will set up a new small business banking division.

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