RBS Group to rebrand as NatWest

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced plans to rebrand its parent group to NatWest later this year, as its new chief executive seeks the “start of a new era”.

The major rebranding exercise, which will see the group comprising RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank operate under the name NatWest Group, came along with a near doubling of annual profits to £3.1 billion, from £1.6 billion the year before.

The move is seen as an attempt by Alison Rose, who took up the reins at the UK’s fourth largest bank late last year, to draw a line under an association with the 2008 financial crisis, when RBS received a £45 billion government bailout. The bank is still 62 per cent state owned.

Rose, a 25-year veteran of RBS, said the rebrand would not result in any changes to services for RBS or NatWest customers, or result in job losses. There will also be no name changes to RBS branches. It is part of a wide-reaching strategy set out by Rose to focus on the bank’s social purpose and adapt to changing customer expectations.

As part of its full year results, RBS announced plans to stop lending to coal companies by 2030 and pledged to make its operations “net carbon zero” by the end of this year. The group has also said it would “at least halve the climate impact” of its financing operations by the end of the decade.

Rose said: “Today marks the start of a new era for our bank as we announce our new purpose – to champion potential, helping people, families and businesses to thrive.

“These results are a reminder of the strong foundations we have built. Our profits are up, our capital remains strong and this year we will have returned a further £2.7 billion to our shareholders.”

However, she said: “Our performance doesn’t yet match the potential that exists in this bank; we can deliver so much more.”

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