RBS pushes button on chief digital officer role

In a sign of the changing times within banking, Royal Bank of Scotland had appointed a chief digital officer.

The Edinburgh-headquartered financial giant, which has faced criticism for closing scores of bank branches, said Frans Woelders will come on board at the start of next month, slotting into its personal and business banking operation.

It added that the creation of the position signalled a “fundamental shift in gear to build world class digital services for personal and small business customers”. Woelders was formerly chief executive, retail banking, at ABN Amro, the Dutch group targeted by RBS in a damaging acquisition in 2007.

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Before taking up that post, where he oversaw the introduction of the peer-to-peer payment app Tikkie, Woelders was ABN Amro’s group chief information officer and head of technology.

Les Matheson, chief executive of personal and business banking at RBS, said: “These changes signal our intent to transform our business around the experiences and needs of our customers.

“We will do this by combining the mind-set, behaviours and approach of a fintech, with our competitive advantages; highly professional and caring colleagues, deep expertise in technology, a large existing customer base, and our great brands.

“The result will make banking with us effortless everyday and brilliant when it matters”.

Woelders added: “Customers are increasingly seeking to self-serve in their own time and looking for ease and simplicity in the way they do their banking.

“I’m looking forward to helping RBS to build upon its already award-winning platforms.”