RBS Confirms Exit From Japan Trading Amid Global Overhaul

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc will close its trading business in Japan while maintaining sales operations as part of a global overhaul by the U.K. firm’s chief executive officer.

“In line with the strategy set out by Ross McEwan in February to make RBS a smaller, more focused bank, we can confirm that RBS has decided to exit its on-shore trading business but will maintain a sales presence in Japan,” Atsuko Yoshitsugu, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman, said by phone today. She didn’t give a timeframe for the withdrawal.

The Edinburgh-based bank confirmed the move a week after Bloomberg News reported that it will pull out of fixed-income trading in Tokyo and give up its primary dealership in the Japanese government bond market. CEO McEwan, 57, has been trimming investment-banking operations and focusing on domestic customers to reverse six straight years of losses.

RBS will cut staff numbers in Japan by more than 200 to about 30, with most of the jobs going by February, a person with knowledge of the matter said last week. Yoshitsugu declined to comment on job losses and the primary dealership.

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