The Royal Bank of Scotland is going to leave behind its 293-year-old name as new chief executive officer Alison Rose begins overhaul. The lender will be renamed as NatWest Group. The move aims to leave behind the past of being a bank that got a £45 billion taxpayer bailout from government in 2008. It will also help the group to get rid of its tarnished image because of a string of scandals. RBS will be renamed later this year and some new ethical targets will be introduced for bosses. These targets will not be linked to financial performance and will focus more on things like cutting carbon emissions and funding more female-led businesses. For the uninitiated, 62 per cent of the bank is still owned by the taxpayers.
As a measure to help tackle climate change, RBS has announced that it would stop financing large oil companies such as BP and Shell unless they align their business model with the 2015 Paris climate agreement. It will give these major oil firms time until 2021 to make a ‘credible plan’ to reduce carbon impact on the climate. The changes at the Royal Bank of Scotland came alongside the annual result of the lender. The annual result has revealed that RBS profit has almost doubled to £3.1 billion in 2019 from £1.6 billion the year before. Rose has also announced a £250m cost-cutting plan but did not clarify whether it would result in job cuts. “We have over 800 branches and we will continue to evolve,” the chief executive, who has been with the banking group for over 25 years, said.
Chairman of the RBS, Sir Howard Davies, said that NatWest was a more suitable name for the bank. He also clarified that the changing the names, not at all mean that the lander was planning to shift its headquarters from Edinburgh to London. RBS has evolved since disaster struck in 2008 which resulted in 162,000 jobs cut and shutting around 1,600 branches along with shedding £1.2trillion of assets. The lender almost brought to standstill Britain’s entire financial system 11 years ago when then-Chancellor Alistair Darling was informed it was just a few hours away from running out of money.