If the British government requires Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC to shed noncore operations after being forced to step in and take control of the ailing Edinburgh company, selling its U.S. banking arm would be easy, observers say.

Struggling to return to profitability after years of dealmaking and a mauling in the credit markets, Royal Bank managed to sell just 0.24% of an offering targeting its own shareholders last week, prompting the U.K. government to acquire a $23 billion stake, or 58% of the company.

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