Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland has been resisting pressure from British bank regulators to sell its U.S. arm, including Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, in order to raise badly-needed cash.
It's more of the continuing hangover from the 2008 banking crisis, which lenders still need to get past so they can start lending again, instead of selling assets and cutting costs.
RBS lost billions backing British, Irish and American real estate speculators and was bailed out by U.K. taxpayers along with other big British lenders. This past October the U.K. bank resolution agency publicly urged RBS to sell Citizens, but in November RBS chief executive Stephen Hester said the U.S. arm is important to the company's future and he'd rather not sell. Bloomberg story here, London Telegraph story here.
But RBS has had a tough time selling some of the assets it would prefer to unload, including excess bank branches in Britain's slow-growing home market.