Belfast Telegraph

RBS warns of 'significant' cash hit from spin-off delay

By Holly Williams

Royal Bank of Scotland has warned of a "significantly" greater-than-expected hit from plans to spin-off its Williams & Glyn arm - which is headed by ex-Ulster Bank boss Jim Brown - and revealed it may not meet its deadline to offload the business.

The group, which posts its first quarter figures today, said there was a "significant risk" that it would not meet the deadline to separate the 316-branch Williams & Glyn business by the end of 2017.

It said it was looking at other ways to spin off the business, adding the "financial impact on RBS is now likely to be significantly greater than previously estimated" due to complexities of separating off the company.

RBS, which is 73% owned by the taxpayer, has already pencilled in £1.6bn in costs for the separation of Williams & Glyn.

But the latest update revealed even greater costs as the bank battled to separate the business and make it ready for a sale or stock market listing.

It said: "Due to the complexities of Williams & Glyn's customer and product mix, the programme to create a cloned banking platform continues to be very challenging, and the timetable to achieve separation is uncertain."

Belfast Telegraph