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RBS may exit part of Europe, Middle East

Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to relook at its operations in central and eastern Europe and the Middle East and may even exit this regions. This will be part of the plans of CEO Ross McEwan, who had earlier said he aims to reduce the bank’s non-UK activities to less than a quarter of its assets in the next few years as part of a drastic restructuring announced earlier this year. Barclays had sold a large part of its retail network in the United Arab Emirates this year and Standard Chartered has put much of its UAE small business loan book up for sale under pressure from US regulators. RBS has £19.1 billion of credit exposure to the central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region as well as central Asia and supranationals, such as the World Bank, according to its annual report. The bank has offices in the UAE and Qatar as well as the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia that cater for corporate and institutional clients.

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