U.S. Investment bank Jefferies is close to buying Royal Bank of Scotland's corporate broking arm Hoare Govett, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

A sale could be announced by Tuesday and would involve about 40 Hoare Govett staff and some additional employees, the person said.

RBS declined to comment.

The majority state-owned bank said earlier this month it was selling or closing its unprofitable cash equities, merger and acquisition advisory and equity capital markets businesses and shrinking in other areas, potentially affecting up to 3,500 investment banking staff.

Bloomberg said Jefferies will pay only a nominal amount to buy Hoare Govett and RBS has offered to provide funds to cover some staff costs.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Gary Hill)