Royal Bank of Scotland grew into one of the world’s biggest banking groups through aggressive acquisitions, but overstretched itself when it tried to buy Dutch banking giant ABN Amro in 2007. The British government pumped 45 billion pounds (US$73 billion) into RBS to keep it afloat in 2008, leaving it 82 per cent state-owned.
UK has lost nearly two-thirds of its bank and building society branches over the past 30 years.
Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain's biggest government-owned lender, is on track for its largest pre-tax loss since 2008 after setting aside a further £3.1 billion (HK$39.8 billion) for legal and compensation claims.
The Royal Bank of Scotland faced fresh damage to its reputation on Monday after the British government handed financial watchdogs a report claiming it forced small firms to default in order to seize their assets.
Regional banking group CIMB, which acquired key Asian assets of Royal Bank of Scotland last year, is targeting China for rapid business expansion outside its home market in Malaysia.
New Zealander Ross McEwan was confirmed as boss of Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday and immediately tasked with recovering British taxpayers' cash from one of the biggest casualties of the credit crunch.