Royal Bank of Scotland will start winding down parts of its equity capital markets and cash equities business, staff were told this morning by global head of equities Frank McKirgan.

The U.K. bank announced in Jan. 12 it would restructure its wholesale banking division, with Lazard employed to try and find a buyer for certain investment banking businesses.

Having failed to find a buyer, parts of the equity capital markets and cash equities businesses, mostly centered in London, will now be wound down, affecting 200 to 300 employees. The bank remains in discussions with potential buyers for other businesses, including the Asian cash equities and mergers and acquisitions businesses and the M&A business outside of Asia.

RBS said in a statement: "Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS. After careful assessment of the various approaches made by interested parties, we have decided to start winding down parts of our Emea Equity Capital Markets and cash equities businesses, and certain associated activities globally."

Staff are understood to have received letters this morning spelling out when they would meet with HR to discuss their individual exit packages. Some staff will be kept on the short term to wind down the business, while others will not be needed in the office again, according to one source. ‘

Earlier this month RBS agreed to sell its RBS Hoare Govett corporate broking operation to Jefferies, including advisory, sales, research and trading staff, equivalent to around 50 staff. Around a fifth are thought to be research staff.

Other brokers including Exane BNP Paribas, RBC Capital Markets and Societe Generale are thought to be talking to individuals and teams from the cash equities platform, according to headhunters, a process likely to be eased by this morning's news.


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