ADCB is said to be close to reaching a deal to buy RBS retail banking assets which is expected to go up to $280m.

However, the UK-based bank 83% owned by government, may not surrender its UAE banking license as part of the sale of the unit, which includes a credit card, personal and private-banking business.

Even after the sale of retail banking unit, the Edinburgh-based bank may maintain UAE as its regional hub for investment and private banking. RBS acquired the UAE consumer banking unit in 2007, and presently its retail operations in UAE consist of three branches, an ATM network and a wealth management business.

RBS is exiting many businesses across the globe where it has no significant market presence. The move to exit UAE market, is part of the its global plan to trim down its international operations announced in February 2009, to concentrate mainly on its domestic market.