Singapore’s largest bank is set to team up with Societe Generale SA, in a bid for Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s (RBS) international private-banking operations, international news agency Bloomberg said in a report, quoting executives familiar with the development.
According to the report, DBS was among the banks that had submitted bids for Coutts International. If successful, the Singapore lender will take over Coutts International’s Asian operations while the French bank would assume the rest of the business.
The report further also said that Coutts International could be worth anywhere between $600 million to $900 million, and added that the spokesperson for both DBS and Societe Generale in Paris had declined to comment.
DBS, which is looking at enhancing its presence outside its home market, had recently completed the purchase of Asian private banking business of Societe Generale SA (GLE). The $220 million cash funded deal was announced in March, 2014. Post the buyout, DBS said it has S$88 billion in high-net-worth assets under management, while its assets under management for all wealth customers had risen to S$129 billion.
In October, Royal Bank of Scotland Group had said it was selling Coutts International, its private banking and wealth management business, which has about $36 billion in assets under management
For DBS, the potential deal makes business logic as a third of the RBS’s assets under management are in Asia. This is also an important segment for DBS to expand in, as the Asia-Pacific region is set to overtake North America in having highest number of millionaires. A World Wealth report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, earlier this year, said number of millionaires in Asia-Pacific grew 7.3 per cent last year, the fastest globally, to reach 4.32 million individuals, just 10,000 behind North America.
RBS had appointed Goldman Sachs to oversee the sale process.