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RBS Says It Is Not in LaSalle Talks with Bank of America

Royal Bank of Scotland said on Tuesday it was not in talks with Bank of America regarding an attempt to resolve the purchase of LaSalle Bank, the U.S. arm of ABN Amro that is the subject of a dispute.

"We've got nothing to add from last week, when we said there are no ongoing discussions," said Fred Goodwin, RBS chief executive. "I don't see any particular urgency on the subject ... I'm happy to have a conversation, we've had one before -- which would suggest there is a basis for conversation -- but if one happens it happens, if it doesn't it doesn't," he told reporters on a conference call.

Goodwin said an offer to buy ABN for 71 billion euros ($95.6 billion) by a consortium of RBS, Santander and Fortis would result in about 19,000 job cuts, fewer than planned by Barclays under a rival offer.

He was speaking after RBS said in a trading update that it expects its U.K. bad debts to fall in the first half of this year to help it beat forecasts for underlying earnings.

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