Report suggests RBS may pay a rival a multi-million-pound fee to secure a sale
The Sunday Times reported the proposed deal, though it did not cite a source.
A sale of RBS' Global Banking and Markets (GBM) division, including its Hoare Govett brokerage business, could be announced this week, the report states.
RBS has already said if a buyer cannot be found for the businesses they would be closed.
However, the cost of closure, including redundancy for its highly paid investment banking staff, is seen as being so high the bank is considering a proposal to pay one of its rivals to take the businesses off its hands.
The Financial Times reported last week the closure of the investment banking businesses could result in up to 10,000 jobs being cut, though this figure was later revised down to around 5,000.
Bank of China, Japan's Mizuho Financial group Inc and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi are "rumoured" to have requested information about the businesses for sale, the Sunday Times said.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Telegraph said the GBM business may be merged with the Global Transaction Services business, a profitable division, as part of a plan to create a so-called "non-ring-fenced" bank that will be hived off from retail banking operations.
The newspaper quotes an RBS spokesman as saying the details of Stephen Hester's award are still being worked out but the 83-per cent state-owned bank intends to pay him another sizeable bonus.
RBS's remuneration committee is due to meet soon to discuss the issue, the report says.
The bank's shares have fallen to about 20 pence each from 49 pence last February.