RBS hits out at Brussels over forced sales

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FT.com / Companies / Banks - Hester hits out at Brussels over forced sales.

Royal Bank of Scotland on Tuesday criticised the agreement it has been forced to make with regulators in Brussels as part of the three-way deal to insure the bank’s toxic assets.

Stephen Hester, chief executive of the state-owned bank, said demands from Neelie Kroes, European Union competition commissioner, to dispose of a range of insurance businesses and bank branches, came “rather late in the day” and threatened to derail the restructuring agreed with the UK government.

Under the revised terms of an agreement with the Treasury, RBS has agreed to divest its insurance businesses Direct Line, Churchill and Green Flag within four years. It would also sell RBS-branded branches in England and Wales, and NatWest branches in Scotland, as well as its small and medium business enterprises

In think this is ridiculous and reveals just how rung Hester is for thsi job.

The strategy now forced on him looks remarakbly like the one I outlined on this blog in October 2008.

Pity no one took note.