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RBS probes possible "irregularities" in China unit
Published on: 2009-12-18
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland is conducting an investigation after discovering "potential irregularities" in its small and medium enterprise banking unit in China, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

"The investigation is still ongoing and we do not wish to pre-empt the outcome of that process," the spokeswoman said in a statement, in reference to the unit that came into RBS's fold with its acquisition of ABN Amro.

"However, any dishonest behaviour by bank staff is completely unacceptable within ABN Amro China and will be taken extremely seriously," she said.

She declined to provide further details on the nature of the irregularities, but said the number of accounts involved was "very small."

While the investigation is in progress, the bank has introduced a number of enhanced measures to provide additional safeguards for client accounts, she said.

RBS, which was bailed out by the British government during the global financial crisis, is in late-stage talks to sell its remaining retail and commercial assets in Asia, which are in China, Malaysia and India, to HSBC, for about $250 million (154 million pounds).

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