RBS moves on from 293-year-old name to become NatWest
(14 February 2020 – United Kingdom) Royal Bank of Scotland is rebranding to become NatWest, in an attempt to put its 2008 government bailout and its association with the financial collapse behind it.
Chief Executive Alison Rose highlighted the groups' new goals to become a ‘purpose-led bank’ focused on enterprise, learning and climate, describing her strategy as the ‘start of a new era’.
NatWest is the biggest consumer-facing brand within the RBS group, accounting for 80% of its profits. Under the new strategy, Ms Rose has pledged that NatWest will be "honest and fair with customers and suppliers; a good citizen; a guardian for future generations; and a responsible and responsive employer".
On climate change, the bank intends to reach net carbon zero by the end of the year, stop lending to coal companies by the end of the decade, and halve the climate impact of its financing activities within ten years.
Existing RBS bank branches – most of which are in Scotland – will keep their name, as will Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland.
Despite ditching the Scottish name, the chairman, Howard Davies, said the bank’s headquarters would remain in Edinburgh. “We’re not unscrewing any brass plaques at this point,” he said. However, Ms Rose, the first woman to run one of the “big four” lenders, will be based in London.