RBS to slash investment bank, rebrand as NatWest

February 14, 2020 16:14
The Royal Bank of Scotland reported better than expected pre-tax profit of 4.2 billion pounds for 2019, 24 percent higher than in the previous year. Photo: AFP

Royal Bank of Scotland’s new chief executive Alison Rose unveiled a new strategy for the taxpayer-backed bank on Friday, including radically cutting back the size of its loss-making investment bank and renaming the company NatWest, Reuters reports.

Rose, the first woman to lead one of Britain’s major banks, is hoping a rebrand will help shift the lender’s image away from its 45 billion pound bailout in the 2008 financial crisis.

The strategy includes plans to halve investment bank NatWest Markets’ risk-weighted assets to 20 billion pounds (US$26.10 billion) and a string of green targets such as halving the impact of the bank’s climate financing by 2030.

The lender reported better than expected pre-tax profit of 4.2 billion pounds for 2019, 24 percent higher than 2018 and above the 3.8 billion pounds average of analysts’ forecasts compiled by the bank.

But the results were dented by a loss at NatWest Markets of 121 million pounds and a previously announced 900 million pound provision to compensate customers mis-sold loan insurance, part of a wider industry scandal.

The bank announced a dividend of 8 pence for the fourth quarter.

– Contact us at [email protected]

CG