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RBS consortium in joint-venture talks with Bank of China

30th May 2006
By Leah Vyse

The rapid growth of China's financial industry has led RBS Group into talks with Bank of China (BoC) over a possible business tie-up to target the wealthy client sector.

Bank of China has confirmed it is in talks with RBS over the formation of wealth management joint venture with Coutts, RBS's division serving high net worth clients.

According to reports from The Scotsman, the initiative will also allow RBS to offer credit cards to a wealthy clientele. This follows similar moves by foreign and domestic banks targeting wealth management in China as a key growth market.

The Scotsman claimed that RBS and BoC have agreed, regulators permitting, to create a credit card joint venture and to explore other areas of potential co-operation.

"The really exciting thing is to be in there with a partner who knows the country so well while we know the business. We would be bringing intellectual capital and they would be bringing customers," said Gordon Pell, RBS's chief executive of retail markets, as reported by the Scotsman.

A consortium led by RBS paid around GBP900 million for a 9.6% strategic stake in BoC in January 2006.

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