ABN Amro India, owned by the troubled UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland, may lay off about 70 employees in its retail loans business, as the British bank continues to sell off assets to focus in its home market after getting a government bail out during the credit crisis, people familiar with the matter said. The bank has decided to freeze fresh retail loans, including credit cards and personal loans, to prevent a deterioration in its bad loans, as it inches closer to a sale of its trimmed-down retail banking arm to Asia-focused UK bank, HSBC.
ABN Amro in India has been slipping in the last year or so after scores of executives quit the company as RBS struggled for survival during the credit crisis and regulatory issues prevented it from selling its Indian business as part of a deal to sell its Asian unit to Australia’s ANZ Bank. ABN’s former country head Romesh Sobti left in 2008 with some executives to run IndusInd Bank. Its investment banking division withered away with Frank Hancock joining Barclays and another team an Australian investment bank. About 50 from its prestigious Van Gogh Preferred Banking team joined the fledgling Religare Macquarie Private Wealth.