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Report: Database issue could cut sale price for RBS' Williams & Glyn

Technical issues impeding the sale of its Williams & Glyn business may force Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to request that some 1.7 million of its customers switch bank accounts, The Sunday Times reported Dec. 18.

RBS is being forced by European authorities to off-load the 314-branch network as a penalty for being bailed out during the financial crisis. The lender, which is now reportedly looking to sell a smaller portion of Williams & Glyn, is finding it difficult to create a database of customers that can be easily transferred to the institution that buys the operations, according to the newspaper.

Sources say RBS may be forced to ask its customers to transfer their accounts to the new owner, and it is unclear how it could ensure they do so, which could cut the sale price of the business as prospective buyers may argue they are at risk of losing accounts.

RBS, which is expected to announce a buyer for its Williams & Glyn business by the end of 2016, declined to comment on the matter, according to the report.

CYBG Plc, which owns the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, and Banco Santander SA are reported to be interested in bidding for Williams & Glyn.