March 20, 2012 / 12:52 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-RBC buys Coutts units from Royal Bank of Scotland

* RBC buying Coutts’ LatAm, Caribbean, African units

* Coutts units manage around 1.5 bln stg of assets

* Sale forms part of RBS’ programme of selling non-core businesses

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to buy some overseas divisions of the Coutts private banking business from Royal Bank of Scotland, giving RBC access to high net worth individuals in fast-growing emerging markets.

RBC is buying Coutts’ Latin American, Caribbean and African private banking arms, which managed around 1.5 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) of assets.

“This business represents an excellent opportunity to increase our market share with high net worth and ultra high net worth clients in key high growth markets while delivering very attractive returns,” said George Lewis, group head, RBC Wealth Management, in a statement.

“As the sixth-largest wealth manager in the world, we can offer these clients the very high level of personal service and global capabilities that they expect from a top tier international firm,” he added.

For RBS, which is 82 percent owned by the British government after a state bailout during the 2008 credit crisis, the sale forms part of its programme of selling non-core assets to focus more on its core UK retail banking business.

RBS said the sale was in line with Coutts’ strategy to focus on key markets such as the UK, Switzerland, Russia, the Middle East and Asia.

The price of the transaction was not disclosed.

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