RBS sells markets units to BNP Paribas
Bank exits equity derivatives citing high capital costs and expenses
A logo sits on a sign outside a branch of Royal Bank of Scotland Group in London. The banking group has suspended a third foreign-exchange trader amid an internal probe. Photo: Bloomberg
Royal Bank of Scotland Group has sold its equity derivatives and structured products unit to BNP Paribas.
“The proposed transaction is in line with the strategic repositioning and de-risking of the markets division of the RBS Group as announced in 2013,” RBS said in a statement.
RBS said it’s exiting all structured products and equity derivatives in June, citing high capital costs and expenses.
Today’s sale is expected to transfer risk management of as much as £15 billion (€18.1 billion) of liabilities, according to the Edinburgh-based lender.
The sale price was “not material,” it said.
Increased regulatory scrutiny of structured products, which have faced criticism for being opaque and complex, is making the notes more expensive, forcing issuers to become either leaner and more efficient or retreat from the business.
Banks create the notes by packaging debt with derivatives, typically options, to offer customized bets to retail investors while earning fees and raising money. BNP Paribas is among lenders expanding its business for equity derivatives which are packaged into structured notes.
The Paris-based firm signed an agreement to take on €12.5 billion of derivatives business from Credit Agricole in October.
Dutch lender Rabobank Groep said it was closing its equity derivatives unit in March because new regulations for selling structured notes to wealthy individuals involve increased costs.