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Morning Coffee: ANZ hands jobs lifeline to anxious RBS staff in Asia

ANZ gives RBS staff a jobs lifeline in Asia

A lifeline in waiting for RBS staff?

RBS wants to sell or shut its corporate bank in Asia – closure would result in the loss of some 2,600 jobs. If you work for RBS in the region, you face a difficult dilemma: do you try to move to another bank in the near future, or stay on in the hope that a buyer will be found and your job might be saved?

As we reported earlier this month, many RBS employees have opted for the former strategy and have started talking to recruiters and applying for jobs. Increasingly, however, it seems that remaining at RBS may be a better option. For one, there are fewer corporate banking vacancies now than there were last year – it’s not a great time to be looking for work. And if you do get an interview you’re certain to face a barrage of annoying interview questions about your performance at the embattled bank.

More significantly, a potential buyer for parts of the RBS business is emerging: ANZ. “I’m interested in looking at their assets across the region,” Andrew Geczy, head of ANZ’s international and institutional banking business, said in an interview with Bloomberg yesterday. “There’s opportunities that happen as many of the European and American banks retrace back home.”

“If there’s a carrot of a potential buyer in Asia, RBS people should serious consider staying,” a recruiter in Singapore with knowledge of the firm told us.

The two banks have history in Asia. In 2009, ANZ bought chunks of RBS’s Asian assets under the “super regional” strategy started by CEO Mike Smith. The Australian firm wants to double the percentage of profit it gets from businesses outside Australia and New Zealand to as much as 30% by 2017, enabling it to compete with the likes of Citi, Standard Chartered and HSBC. The RBS businesses with the best potential to be sold include corporate lending and credit operations such as debt capital markets, according to a source close to RBS quoted by Reuters.


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