Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed investment bank UBS to manage the sale of its 316 branches following the collapse of its deal with Santander.
The Sunday Telegraph reports RBS chief executive Stephen Hester has asked UBS to assess a number of options as to what to do with the branches, which have to be sold due to state aid rules after the taxpayer bailout.
RBS has to offload the branches by December 2013.
The Sunday Telegraph said Hester was keen to speed up the process after Lloyds Banking Group suffered problems disposing of its 'project verde' branches.
The report said before Christmas UBS will look at hiving off the unit, either through an initial public offering or some form of management buy-out.
It is thought RBS will receive substantially less than the £1.65bn Santander was due to pay for the business. The Sunday Telegraph reported the value could be about £650m.
RBS declined to comment.
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