NEW YORK -- Royal Bank of Canada plans a realignment of its U.S. operations to expand business relationships with a more limited number of corporations.

The Toronto-based bank said Monday that it plans by Jan. 31 to consolidate six business regions into four serving the New York metropolitan area, the U.S. East Coast, the Midwest, and the West Coast.

David L. Robertson, the bank's senior vice president and general manager in the United States, said Royal Bank will close its Dallas office and eliminate 15 positions around the country, as part the realignment.

More Global Viewpoint

Another 27 employees of the bank will be reassigned, he said.

The bank plans to reduce gradually the number of corporations with which it does business in the United States to about 700 from 900, Mr. Robertson said.

"We'll concentrate on dealing with customers with whom we have relationships around the world," he said.

Swaps and Options in the Kit

Royal, Canada's largest bank with $113 billion in assets, is one of the five largest banks in North America. It has around $10 billion in assets in the United States.

The bank mainly supplies corporate loans, treasuring management, standby letters of credit, derivative products such as swaps and options, and trade-related services in the United States.

Royal Bank is also hoping to build up its capital market underwriting activities through its investment bank, RBS Dominion Securities Ltd. It also plans to acquire a U.S. retail banking franchise.

Like a number of other large foreign banks, Royal aims to trim its more limited and less profitable corporate business relationships and develop a broader range of business with individual customers.

"Once you go beyond a certain level and spread out into the middle market, the returns simply don't justify the resources you need to invest," Mr. Robertson said.

Mr. Robertson declined to supply anticipated earnings for Royal in the United States.

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