RBS Group to alter its identify to NatWest

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Media captionAlison Rose: “My focus is on making sure we’re a safe, smart bank for the future”

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group has stated it plans to alter its identify later this yr, because it reported a near doubling of annual income.

The Edinburgh-based financial institution, which owns RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank, stated it might rename itself as NatWest Group.

The financial institution reported income of £3.1bn for 2019, nearly double the £1.6bn seen the yr earlier than.

New RBS chief government Alison Rose referred to as the outcomes the “start of a new era” for the financial institution.

It is believed that Ms Rose is hoping a rebrand will assist shift the lender’s picture away from its association with the monetary disaster.

The financial institution was rescued by the federal government in 2008 within the aftermath of the monetary disaster at a price of £45bn and it’s nonetheless 62% state-owned.

Ms Rose informed the BBC’s Today programme that the identify change wouldn’t alter any companies for RBS or NatWest prospects.

About 80% of the financial institution’s prospects are thought to make use of NatWest. Names of particular person NatWest and RBS branches will stay the identical.

She additionally stated that the identify change wouldn’t lead to any job cuts throughout the group.

This is Ms Rose’s first set of outcomes for the lender. She grew to become the primary feminine boss of a significant High Street financial institution when she was appointed final yr.

Crucial questions unanswered

Today’s announcement was not simply the primary set of full-year outcomes unveiled by new chief government Alison Rose but in addition the long-awaited unveiling of her technique.

But many essential questions stay unanswered, with Ms Rose failing to deal with latest press reviews that claimed job cuts could also be in retailer.

RBS was the topic of a £45bn state bailout in the course of the monetary disaster, and stays 62% taxpayer-owned. A 25-year veteran of the financial institution, Alison Rose is among the few senior executives left from the pre-crisis period, when former boss Fred Goodwin’s overambitious enlargement plans left the financial institution in a dangerous state.

More than a decade on, it falls to her to finish the clean-up operation. She says the identify change for the dad or mum firm marks a brand new period, however the actual problem is to show she will be able to get the financial institution again right into a state the place the remaining stake may be bought with out incurring a hefty loss for taxpayers.

Climate dedication

RBS additionally introduced it was dedicated to “at least halve the climate impact” of its financing exercise by 2030.

It says it can cease lending to coal firms by the top of the last decade.

The financial institution additionally confirmed it might make its personal operations “net carbon zero” by the top of this yr.

That follows on from a pledge by Lloyds Banking Group to halve the quantity of carbon emissions it funds by way of private and enterprise loans by 2030.

A continuity candidate

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Chief government Alison Rose was appointed in 2019

Ms Rose has been at RBS for greater than 25 years, primarily in quite a few roles in its funding financial institution.

She was beforehand deputy chief government of NatWest Holdings, and earlier than Ms Rose was appointed chief government of the RBS group she was head of business and personal banking.

She labored her manner up after becoming a member of the financial institution as a graduate trainee in 1992.

Unlike her predecessor Ross McEwan, she is predicated solely in London, though the financial institution has its headquarters in Edinburgh.

Ms Rose can also be paid greater than her predecessor, along with her annual wage set at £1.1m in contrast with Mr McEwan’s £1m.

Shares hit

RBS’s share worth fell by nearly 5% after its outcomes.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, stated markets wanted “some convincing”, regardless of the soar in income.

But he stated “it’s clear RBS is putting legacy conduct issues behind it and has got the payment protection insurance (PPI) monkey off its back”.

The financial institution took a £900m cost for mis-sold PPI in 2019, which was on the high finish of its expectations.

Mr Wilson added: “Now that the PPI deadline has passed, the bank has much greater visibility of future cash generation.”