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Itau Unibanco Plans Bid for RBS Citizens Unit, Sunday Times Says

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Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco Holding SA is planning a bid for Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s U.S.-based Citizens unit, the Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

Itau Unibanco hasn’t yet made an approach to RBS, the newspaper said. It’s also interested in a potential bid for Banco Santander SA’s Sovereign Bancorp Inc. and Societe Generale SA’s Bank West as it seeks to expand in the U.S., according to the Sunday Times.

Canada’s Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit and JPMorgan Chase & Co. may also be interested in Citizens, the newspaper said.

A spokesman for RBS declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News today.

RBS Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester said August 3 that the bank will retain Citizens Financial Group Inc., the U.S. consumer and commercial lender RBS bought in 1988, because it’s a “core” part of the bank.

To contact the reporter on this story: Clementine Fletcher in London at cfletcher5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net; Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net; Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net