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UBP to buy RBS’ Coutts International

Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privée has confirmed it is to acquire Coutts International, RBS’ international private banking and wealth management arm.

The sale, which follows RBS’ decision to create a UK-focused bank, includes business managed from Switzerland, Monaco, the Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong, and assets under management of over CHF30bn (£22bn).

RBS commercial and private banking chief executive Alison Rose says: “We gave careful consideration to identifying a buyer with the capability to take on this business in order to minimise the impact on clients and staff. We believe that in UBP we have found a good long-term owner for this business.”

The deal comes after months of media speculation over the possible bidders, which included Credit Suisse, and a combined bid from France’s Société Générale and Singapore’s DBS.

RBS decided to sell off Coutts International in August 2014 as the bank decided to shift focus on its domestic private banking and wealth management operations.

The final deal price is likely to be between £400m and £600m.

UBP chief executive Guy de Picciotto says: “This acquisition confirms our commitment in further developing our wealth management business and represents a significant milestone in our growth strategy.

“This is particularly true for high-potential markets such as Asia, where the international business of Coutts has built long-standing relationships with high net worth clients. We look forward to welcoming the new teams; their breadth of know-how in wealth management will perfectly complement our investment management expertise”

The transaction is subject to the regulatory and other approvals.

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