RBS to sell aircraft leasing business

Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to put its aircraft leasing business RBS Aviation Capital up for sale as it undertakes a radical overhaul of all its operations. The aircraft leasing arm is one of the largest in the world, and has offices in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Dubai.

However it is feared that the bank might struggle to attract serious offers in the current industry climate. RBS Aviation Capital is estimated to be worth several billion dollars.

Stephen Hester, RBS chief executive, has brought forward a major review of the bank from March to the annual results on 26 February, when RBS will unveil a massive loss for the last financial year.

According to The Telegraph, Hester is expected to unveil plans to dramatically shake-up the group, which will involve exiting various markets around the world, including the disposal of its aircraft leasing arm, which leases aircraft to airlines and offer airlines and aircraft investors a range of aviation financing solutions.

The bank’s take-over of ABN Ambro left the bank with huge debts, resulting in last year’s £12bn rights issue and subsequent £20bn rescue by the taxpayer. RBS is now almost 70 percent owned by the taxpayer.
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