Royal Bank of Scotland changes name to NatWest

Posted Feb 14 2020 at 1:12 p.m.Updated Feb 14. 2020 at 1:15 p.m.

What could be better than changing your name to make you forget a painful past?
The new boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, Alison Rose

, announced on Friday that the property will change its name to NatWest, the brand it already uses in England, Wales and all over Europe.

By abandoning a 293-year-old name, the bank distances itself from the 2008 financial crisis, which it only survived at the cost of a nationalization of £ 45 billion, which still earns it today. ‘have the State as shareholder with more than 60% of the capital She hopes to thus forget this scent of scandal and definitively turn the page of a decade of forced restructuring, which forced her to cut into her international teams and in her market activities to refocus on the bank retail in the UK.

It will nevertheless continue to use the Royal Bank of Scotland brand for its activities in Scotland. A name steeped in history: it was the Royal Bank of Scotland which invented the practice of overdraft, by granting such a cash facility to William Hogg, a merchant in Edinburgh’s “High Street” … May 31, 1728 .

Profitability targets lowered

The bank is now doing better, as results for the third year in the green show after a decade of losses. Net profit almost doubled last year to £ 3.1 billion, thanks to lower tax charges and lower litigation costs.

However, it remains cautious for the future, in “difficult market conditions” where rates remain low and fierce competition on mortgage loans. It therefore definitively gave up on exceeding 12% return on equity, a goal it had already abandoned for the year, and announced that it was now targeting 9% to 11% profitability in the medium to long term.

The bank has not completely finished with the restructuring. Alison Rose announced a halving of the size of NatWest Markets, the 4,500-person entity (out of a total of 65,400) that houses its investment bank. The assets of this business with mixed results will be reduced from 35 to only 20 billion pounds in the medium term, including 6 to 8 billion reduction this year. This reorganization and the savings efforts will cost it 800 million to 1 billion pounds this year.