‘Historic and symbolic' day as RBS ditches Royal Bank of Scotland group name

Alison Rose has hailed Royal Bank of Scotland’s name change to NatWest Group as an “historic day” and a “symbolic moment” for the banking giant’s colleagues and stakeholders.

The bank first announced its intention to change its parent company name in February stressing that there would be no change to its customer-facing brands, with branches in Scotland continuing to operate under the historic Royal Bank of Scotland banner. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The chief executive made the remarks as the bailed-out lender also announced the appointment of Lord Nicholas Stern as an independent climate advisor – a newly created role for the group.

The bank first announced its intention to change its parent company name and stock exchange ticker in February stressing that there would be no change to its customer-facing brands, with branches in Scotland continuing to operate under the historic Royal Bank of Scotland banner.

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At the time, RBS, which has existed since 1727, said the change would have no direct impact on jobs while the registered office would remain in Edinburgh. The date of 22 July for the name change was confirmed last week.

In a statement released to the stock exchange at 2pm on Wednesday, the bank said: “The change of name has now been registered at Companies House in Edinburgh and is effective from today.

“Trading in NatWest Group plc’s ordinary shares on the London Stock Exchange under the new name and an updated ticker (NWG) will commence from Thursday, 23 July 2020.”

Rose said: “This is a historic day for our bank as we intend to change our name to NatWest Group plc. Although there will be no changes to our customer brands, it’s a symbolic moment for our colleagues and stakeholders.

“The bank has changed fundamentally over the last decade and now is the right time to align our group name with the brand under which the majority of our business is delivered.

“While what we are called is important, it’s how we do business that defines us. In these most challenging of circumstances, we have put in place extraordinary measures to support our customers, colleagues and communities throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

“Further tests are sure to come. However, by establishing even deeper relationships with our customers and partners and building on the strong foundations we’ve put in place over the past ten years, NatWest Group will help the people, families and businesses we serve to recover, rebuild and, ultimately, thrive.”

The move sees the bank distance itself from a brand that was tarnished by its mammoth £45.5 billion state bailout in 2008.

Earlier this week it emerged that nearly 50,000 UK-based staff at the bank, which remains majority owned by the taxpayer, had been told they will not go back into the office until 2021.

In his role as independent climate advisor, Stern will provide “advice, guidance and challenge” to the group’s senior executives and management for eight days a year for an initial term of two years.

Rose said: “At NatWest Group, we are determined to lead on the collaboration and cooperation that is so critical to tackling the causes of climate change and transitioning to a low carbon economy.

“This is the biggest challenge facing our planet today, and I am delighted that Lord Stern has agreed to work with us to provide independent advice and guidance to help us meet our ambitious targets and drive positive change on this crucial issue.”

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