The Canadian parent of RBC Bank is seeking buyers for the Raleigh-based lender, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources.
Royal Bank of Canada has hired investment bank JPMorgan Chase to provide advice on a potential sale, Bloomberg reported.
The recession and real-estate slump hurt financial results at RBC Bank, spurring speculation that Royal Bank might seek to sell the division and ditch its U.S. strategy.
Last month, Royal Bank reported record quarterly results, thanks partly to narrower losses at RBC Bank. RBC Bank CEO Jim Westlake said he's optimistic that the business will return to making money later this year.
Westlake's boss, Royal Bank CEO Gordon Nixon, has said previously that he wanted to improve RBC Bank's performance before considering all options, including a possible sale or expansion through further acquisitions.
RBC Bank, with about 430 branches, employs 500 people in the Triangle, mostly at its headquarters office tower in downtown Raleigh.
The company entered the United States in 2001 with its $2.1 billion purchase of Centura Banks, based in Rocky Mount. It later relocated to Raleigh and increased its marketing efforts -- including putting its name on Raleigh's sports arena.