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RBS Said to Plan Cost Cuts at Coutts U.K. in First Half of 2016

  • Private-banking division has a 90 percent cost-income ratio
  • CEO Ross McEwan said to want to lower expenses early next year

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s largest taxpayer-owned lender, will prioritize cost cutting at its Coutts private bank in the U.K. in the first half of next year, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Alongside cost reductions at the investment bank and its Irish Ulster Bank division, Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan wants to lower expenses at the British private bank, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The unit had a 90 percent cost-to-income ratio excluding restructuring, litigation and conduct issues in the third quarter, which management considers unacceptable, the person added.