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RBS Says It’s Closing Global Strategic Equity Solutions Unit

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s biggest government-owned bank, is closing its global strategic equity solutions unit as it focuses on more profitable business.

The operation will be “managed down in an orderly fashion,” spokeswoman Sarah Small said by telephone from London today.

The department provided equity financing and derivative products for sovereign wealth funds and family offices that allowed their clients to hedge against market risks and acquire or dispose of company shareholdings, RBS said on its website. The unit had employees in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and New York, according to the website.

About 12 people will be effected globally by the closure and RBS may find jobs for them in other departments at the Edinburgh-based lender, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The decision to close the department was made in September, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details are private.

RBS, which is reversing a decade of expansion to 2008 as regulators impose higher capital requirements and as the sovereign debt crisis erodes profitability, said in January that it will cut about 3,500 jobs at the investment bank. The company had 142,800 employees as of June 30 this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Didier Huyberechts, head of the Strategy Equity Solutions department in Dubai left the bank at the end of October, he said by telephone. Tori de Silva, a Dubai-based spokeswoman for RBS, confirmed Huyberechts departure from the bank by e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mahmoud Kassem in Abu Dhabi at mkassem1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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