RBS Set to Sell its London Headquarters

By Chandres (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

As the firm pushes ahead with a massive cost-cutting drive, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is presently majority-owned by the government of United Kingdom, is proposing to flog its headquarters in London post-2019.

The bank will relocate from the 280 Bishopsgate building to transfer back down the road to number 250, which it is proposing to revamp later in 2018.

The relocation will take place in 2019, and the bank will then start to think about the sale of the building. A spokesperson informed reported that there is still no planned deal that is lined up.

A spokesperson for the Royal Bank of Scotland stated: “As we become a simpler, smaller UK-focused bank and as we encourage more flexible ways of working, we no longer require the same amount of office space as we once did.

“We will be exiting 280 Bishopsgate by the end of 2019 which will further reduce our property costs in London. We will be revamping our nearby office at 250 Bishopsgate later in the year to accommodate more staff and to create a better, more flexible working environment.”

Last year, the Royal Bank of Scotland was reported to be selling its Premier Place London office to an arm of  Ivanhoe Cambridge, the government pension manager of Quebec. According to Bloomberg, the offer price for the sale was said to be slightly lower than the £145m that the bank was asking for.

Whether the Royal Bank of Scotland will have better luck in selling 280 Bishopsgate, by which time the United Kingdom is scheduled to have fully withdrawn from the European Union, remains to be seen.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has also been pinching pennies in some other areas. Last December, the firm said that it would close Natwest branches and 259 Bank of Scotland and lop around 680 jobs – a move which was proved to be unpopular with various politicians, especially with those who represent the more rural constituencies.

A number of staff from the Bishopsgate HQ will also be transferred to offices that are located in Regents House and Princes Street. However, there is not expected to be a series of job cuts n order to facilitate the move as Ross McEwan, the current chief executive, has been pushing for a gradual decrease in headcount.

The pragmatic style of McEwan is in contrast to Fred Goodwin, the former boss who stepped down following the £45bn government bailout of the bank after seeking a rapid expansion plan.