British bank expands horizons


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Europe’s third largest bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, was given permission by the Bank of Portugal last week to open a global banking and markets branch for corporate businesses in Lisbon.

No site has been designated or opening date confirmed for the first branch of The Royal Bank of Scotland in Portugal.

The Resident spoke to Ila Kotecha, The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Media Relations Manager for Corporate Markets, who said: “On the back of the strong growth of our business in Spain out of our branch in Madrid, we are delighted to have received licence approval for a branch office in Lisbon.”

Plans for the Lisbon branch are still in preliminary stages, but the future seems bright for the UK’s second largest bank after HSBC. The Royal Bank of Scotland was established in Edinburgh in 1727, and since then it has grown into a powerful force recording profits last year of 8.2 billion euros.

In the 1960s, the company crossed the Atlantic to do business in the US and, since then has developed on a global scale with acquisitions and mergers with, among others, the Spanish bank Santander in 1998, which then merged with Portugal’s Totta bank.

In the last 10 years, The Royal Bank of Scotland has increased its share of the market with mergers, including the UK-based Nat West Bank and buying a 10 per cent share in the Bank of China, worth an estimated 2.5 billion euros.