LONDON/ATHENS: Royal Bank of Scotland <RBS.L> is winding down its Greek operation and is putting its $5 billion shipping loans portfolio up for sale as the group scales back on non-core activities, finance sources familiar with plans said on Friday.
For decades, RBS has been a top lender to the global shipping industry and its Greek office - with an estimated 60 staff members - has played a pivotal role.
"We won’t be around for much more in Greece. RBS is slowly closing up operations here," one source at RBS said.
"The shipping business is up for sale. They have decided to sell it, if there is a buyer by December."
RBS, which briefly became the world's biggest bank after an acquisition binge under former chief executive Fred Goodwin, has undergone a complex restructuring to focus on lending to British households and businesses.