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RBS Structured Note Volume Drops After Derivatives, Sales Merge

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s biggest publicly owned lender, has yet to sell any structured notes in the U.S. this year amid organizational changes.

The bank combined its U.S. derivatives products and global trading and sales groups, Ed Canaday, a bank spokesman in Stamford, Connecticut, wrote in an e-mail. The merged group is now run out of London by Martijn van Pieterson and has issued fixed-rate debt and additional shares of existing exchange-traded notes, though not new structured securities, he said.

The changes are “ongoing as we speak,” Beat von Gunten, London-based global head of structured product sales to individual investors, said in a telephone interview. Von Gunten declined to comment on the new group’s objectives or plans.

Last year, the Edinburgh-based bank sold $31.8 million of structured notes in the U.S., down from $180.3 million in 2011 and $249.6 million in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Outside the U.S., RBS sold $288.9 million of notes in 2013, up from $156.7 million during the same period a year earlier, Bloomberg data show.

Banks create structured notes by packaging debt with derivatives to offer customized bets to retail investors while earning fees and raising money. Derivatives are contracts whose value is derived from stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies, or events such as changes in interest rates or the weather.

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