Itaú Unibanco Holding in São Paulo, Brazil, has denied that it is in negotiations to buy Citizens Financial Group, the U.S. arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
The company is also not in talks to acquire any other financial institution in the U.S., nor is there a "proposal or binding document in this context," Alfredo Setubal, the company's investor relations officer, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
However, the company is "always considering options for expanding its operations" and "in line with its disclosure policy, the bank will immediately communicate to the market any information that can be characterized as a material fact," he wrote.
The SEC filing was in response to a story headlined "Itaú in Bid to Acquire Bank in the USA" on Monday in the newspaper O Estado De São Paulo. The Sunday Times in the U.K. had also reported that Itaú was looking to buy Citizens.
RBS would keep Citizens because it is a "core" part of the bank, RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester said last week, Bloomberg News reported.
RBS has tried to slim down while revenue has fallen as the debt crisis has worsened in Europe. The company, which is majority-owned by the British government, reported a $3.1 billion loss last year and lost roughly $3 billion through the first six months of this year.
RBS recently sold 57 of its Citizens branches in New York to People's United Financial (PBCT) for $3.24 million in cash.