RBS CEO Stephen Hester was circumspect in his comments about Providence-based Citizens on Friday after RBS announced it lost $2.2 billion during the three months ended Sept. 30. It was the first time Hester has spoken out since news surfaced that British regulators are pressing him to consider selling Citizens.
“I’ve never ruled anything out and I’m not going to start ruling it out now,” Hester said, acknowledging there “may be a day” when selling Citizens would benefit RBS shareholders, according to various published reports.
But Hester suggested now is not the time, repeating RBS executives’ mantra that Citizens is a “core” part of the bank’s operations, and that RBS has a “cogent and coherent strategy” which is partly “to not have all its eggs in one geographic basket.”
“It’s unlikely that today is the best time to sell financial services assets,” Hester said.