RBC Eyes Sale of U.S. Consumer Banking Unit

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Royal Bank of Canada has put its U.S. subsidiary on the block after a decade of working to make the North Carolina-based RBC Bank meet its profitability goals. RBC-purchased Centura Bank in 2001 and has never met the largest Canadian banks expectations. While located in an area that has grown compared to the stagnant Midwest, RBC Bank had to compete with some of the most aggressive banks including Bank of America, Wachovia (now part of Wells Fargo), and BB&T.

A source familiar with the situation said on Thursday that Canada’s largest bank has retained JPMorgan Chase & Co to advise it on the sale process, but did not provide further detail Royal Bank spokeswoman Katherine Gay told Reuters by email that the bank was not commenting on the issue. JPMorgan also declined to comment. Royal Bank Chief Executive Gord Nixon said in January the bank was unsure whether it would eventually add to its U.S. retail banking business, or retreat from it.

“We would anticipate that should the deal go through, (RBC’s) international segment would be immediately much more profitable, supporting the bank’s overall profitability metrics,” Barclays Capital analyst John Aiken said in a research note.

“This stems from the pressure that its U.S. retail banking has faced, being located in the U.S. Southeast, one of the harder hit areas in the real estate declines experienced by the U.S. over the past few years.”

For more information about how RBC’s Canadian competitors TD Bank and Bank of Montreal are increasing their positions in the U.S., read the article in Bank Systems & Technology: http://www.banktech.com/articles/229401226?cid=nl_bnk_daily