ABN Amro begins rebranding despite HSBC bid

Written by fe Bureaus | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 10 2010, 03:47am hrs
Although the Royal Bank of Scotlands (RBS) retail assets in India are up for sale, the transition of the ABN Amro in India to the RBS brand is likely to take place over the coming weeks.

In a letter to customers, ABN Amro said that signages at all the ABN Amro branches, ATMs and drop box will henceforth be renamed as RBS.The timing of the rebranding is somewhat surprising given that HSBC is understood to have put in a bid for the retail and SME Asian assets of RBS in October 2009 after talks between Standard Chartered Bank and RBS failed over price valuation issue.

According to a recent report, an RBS official confirmed that both banks have already signed the deal and are awaiting regulatory approval. The key to the success of the Indian part of the acquisition is the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) clearance for transfer of RBS branch licences to HSBC, the newspaper said. Together with the assets, HSBC is keen to acquire some branches of RBS as part of the deal. RBS has 31 branches in India and employs 10,000 people, following its October 2007 acquisition of the Asian operations of ABN Amro Bank NV.

Meanwhile, ABN Amro has written to all its customers saying that the naming of the parent organisation from ABN Amro Bank to the Royal Bank of Scotland is now imminent. The letter adds, Your existing ATM cards, debit cards, credit cards and cheque books will remain valid and RBS will fully support all transactional needs until further notice when they may be replaced by RBS branded cards and cheque books. The communication from the bank including statements, SMS alerts, service and product information will now come in the name of RBS. The website, net banking and cards online platform will also be rebranded to RBS. However, this will not impact the customers transaction in any manner. Customers will be updated on any changes that will take place during the integration of ABN Amro business towards RBS, the notice said.