London offices to carry NatWest name
RBS in rebranding move to tackle reputational damage
Royal Bank of Scotland’s retrenchment north of the border will take another big step when it rebrands its flagship London offices under the NatWest name.
The change is part of a plan to reflect the bank’s operations in the UK and distance itself from its recent past.
The bold RBS initials are also giving way to a lower case ‘rbs’, although it may find some resistance – not least from the media which is reluctant to incorporate lower case titles on typographical grounds.
A more serious matter is the change in the branding in England and Wales which is a result of the European Union’s order to sell 300 RBS branches south of the border which will be turned into a new bank under the resurrected Williams & Glyn brand. RBS will be represented almost exclusively by the NatWest brand.
The RBS logo is expected to be removed from its main office buildings in the City of London and replaced with NatWest next year.
The investment banking division – which has been dramatically scaled back – is expected to be known as RBS Markets.
RBS boss Ross McEwan has signalled that a branding exercise is being planned in recent presentations. A new chief marketing officer was appointed recently.
Sources say that RBS had considered a new name, but has dropped that idea.
It was bailed out with £45 billion of taxpayer funds during 2008 and 2009 when it became a major casualty of the banking crash. Its reputation has continued to suffer as scandals over PPI and foreign exchange dealing have led to huge fines. It was criticised over its treatment of business customers and is being pursued in the courts by shareholders over the 2008 rights issue.