The Royal Bank of Scotland is to unveil a restructuring in which 20,000 jobs could be lost and assets worth several hundred billion pounds – about a fifth of the business – put up for sale.

Stephen Hester, new RBS chief executive, will start the dismantling of the empire assembled by his predecessor Sir Fred Goodwin by creating a non-core subsidiary into which £300bn of unwanted assets will be placed.

The aim is to isolate the troubled areas of the business in a “bad bank” and allow the stock market to place a value on the remaining core operations.

The plan is due to be unveiled on Thursday, at the same time as RBS announces Britain’s biggest corporate loss of up to £28billion and cost cuts of £1billion a year.

Daily Telegraph, The Independent