RBS buys back £2.3bn debt; ‘closes India banking’

Royal Bank of Scotland said on Monday its tender offer to buy back roughly £5.2 billion of bonds to lower its interest payments and meet regulatory requirements had resulted in a take up rate of 43.5% — a total of £2.3 billion.

Meanwhile, news reports suggested RBS has finally decided, as expected, to close down its banking operations in India after failing to find a buyer.

As a result of the £2.3 billion debt buyback, RBS said it will recognise a loss of about £66.1 million in its second quarter 2016 results on a consolidated basis.

But RBS said the bond buyback is expected to result in interest savings of £171.8 million over the life of the debt securities,  which have maturities falling between 2016 and 2025.

The initial loss will be off-set by interest savings over a period of 2-3 years, RBS said.

“The tender offers are part of the on-going transition to a holding company capital and term funding model in line with regulatory requirements …” said RBS.

RBS was rescued in a UK state bailout during the global financial crisis and is still roughly 73% owned by the UK government.

In February, RBS called off the sale of its India banking business and started considering options including the winding down of the business.

The back-office outsourcing business of RBS will continue operations in India.