The move by Glasgow-based Clydesdale could end a costly seven-year process by RBS to offload Williams & Glyn, after it was ordered by the European Union to sell it as a condition of its taxpayer-funded rescue at the peak of the global financial crisis."We continue to explore options in meeting our obligations to the European Commission," RBS said in a statement. "We have been clear that there is interest in the business and this remains the case."Clydesdale said that discussions with RBS are ongoing, and there is no certainty that any transaction will occur.European regulators originally ordered a sale of Williams & Glyn by 2013 to prevent RBS, Britain's largest small-business lender, from having an unfair advantage and posing a systemic threat to its economy.RBS has blamed the complexities of creating a standalone technology platform for the delays in selling Williams & Glyn, seen by some analysts as a major milestone in the lender's road to recovery, return to full private ownership and restoration of dividends.Santander pulled out of talks last month because of disagreement over the price, sources said.Williams & Glyn has 1.8 million customers, net loans and advances of 20 billion pounds and customer deposits of 24 billion pounds, making it one of Britain's largest prospective 'challenger' bank brands with potential to poach market share in the small business lending sector from Lloyds and RBS. Clydesdale's bid was reported earlier on Tuesday by the Financial Times.
RBS will reports results for the third quarter of its financial year on Friday.
(Reporting By Andrew MacAskill. Additional reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Rachel Armstrong/Ruth Pitchford)