Royal Bank of Scotland to double India headcount

The British banking giant plans to double its India headcount to about 1,000 employees by the end of this year.
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Updated on Jul 15, 2007 11:41 AM IST
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PTI | By, New Delhi

British banking giant Royal Bank of Scotland, which has countered its compatriot rival Barclays' takeover bid for largest Dutch bank ABN Amro, plans to double its India headcount to about 1,000 employees by the end of this year.

RBS, which has an India development centre at Gurgaon with about 600 employees currently, is aiming to tap the "world-class IT talent base" present in India to support its global operations.

"We have a robust long-term India strategy. We would be doubling headcount to about 1,000 people by year end. India has a world-class IT talent base and we would like to leverage this opportunity," RBS India Development Centre Managing Director Gary Strain told PTI.

RBS, the third largest bank in Europe, serves more than 35 million customers worldwide and its India centre develops business-critical technology applications for the RBS Group.

"The roles (at India centre) are truly global and talent gets groomed to operate in a global environment. This coupled with a very strong people development agenda positions us uniquely in the market," Strain added.

In a bid to boost its India operations further, RBS recently appointed Barclays's India co-CEO Madan Menon as the country head for its global banking and markets division.

Menon would be responsible for building the bank's capabilities in fixed income products, syndicated loans, debt markets, risk management, acquisitions and project finance.

The investment banking sector in India has witnessed a makeover over the years. The scenario changed dramatically, with a remarkable rise in market trading volumes, growing number of mergers and acquisitions and international fund raising exercises by Indian companies.

Global financial giants such as UBS, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers are already present in the Indian investment banking market.

Investment bankers help companies to raise money from equity and debt markets and provide advisory services for mergers, acquisitions and other financial transactions.

Commenting on the new appointment, RBS Global Banking and Markets CEO Brian Crowe said Menon would be instrumental in spearheading the bank's ambitions for organic growth in India.

"The appointment highlights RBS' commitment to invest in expansion of its global banking and markets business in the region and to service the needs of corporate and institutional clients in India," Crowe said.

Meanwhile, a RBS-led consortium, which offered 71.1 billion euros for acquisition of ABN Amro as against Barclays' 63.9 billion euro bid, said it would soon announce a revised offer, superior to that from Barclays.

It follows a court decision yesterday, approving the sale of ABN Amro's North American unit - LaSalle Bank - to Bank of America for 21 billion dollars, while in turn invalidating RBS previous offer.

While Barclays' bid excluded LaSalle unit, the RBS-Fortis-Santander consortium's bid included and was conditional to acquisition of LaSalle unit as well.

"This (new) offer will be on materially superior terms to Barclays' proposed offer and will not be conditional upon LaSalle remaining part of the ABN AMRO group," the three banks said in a statement.

Barclays has said following acquisition of ABN Amro, it would move close to 10,000 jobs to India and other low-cost locations as part of a proposal to cut its workforce in the UK, while RBS-led consortium's offer entails relatively lower number of job cuts.

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