Many employees engaged in selling retail loan products such as credit cards and personal loans are being asked to leave. At the beginning of the current fiscal, the consumer banking team at the bank, which has 31 branches in India, employed 2,850 people, but at least 500 of them have left so far.
“The book size of the consumer finance division has almost been halved—from Rs2,300 crore to Rs1,200 crore. The plan is to shrink it to around Rs190 crore,” said an executive at ABN Amro Bank who did not want to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media.
The Indian operations, which were sold to Royal Bank of Scotland in 2007 as part of a global acquisition, posted a 93% slide in profit to Rs19.39 crore in the year ended 31 March, 2009, from Rs280.99 crore in the previous fiscal.
RBS is selling businesses designated as non-core in select markets to raise funds even though it will continue and expand the corporate and wholesale banking activities of ABN Amro.
“As part of our regular review of the products and services we provide, in line with many other banks in India, we made a decision earlier this year to discontinue the issuance of fresh credit card or unsecured loans,” an RBS spokesperson said in an email response to queries from Mint.
“We continue to maintain our service for existing card and loan customers and remain focused on the branch banking and wealth management businesses in the retail arm of the bank.’’
In February 2009, RBS declared that it would move its India retail and commercial banking operations, which employ 2,500 people, into a for-sale, non-core division. Morgan Stanley is advising RBS on the sale.
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