The lender says it is reorganising its wholesale businesses into ‘markets’ and ‘international banking’, as well as exiting and downsizing certain activities.
Going forward, it says its wholesale division will focus on fixed income, foreign exchange, debt financing, transactions services and risk management solutions.
It will be exiting from cash equities, corporate broking, equity capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions businesses.
The bank says it is also planning significant reductions in balance sheet, funding requirements and cost base in the remaining wholesale businesses.
The changes will begin immediately but may take up to three years to implement.
Stephen Hester, group chief executive of RBS, says the changes are necessary for its recovery plan, announced in 2009, to be effective.
He says: “It is clear that, particularly in the wholesale banking arena, significant new pressures have emerged. The changes we are announcing today seek to ensure that RBS is at the front of the pack in pursuing a strategy that reflects the environment we expect to operate in.
“Our goal from these changes is to be more focused for customers, more conservatively funded, more efficient and with better, more stable returns for shareholders overall.”