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RBS: ‘Determined to earn back your trust’

RBS sign

RBS reversed its decision to restrict basic bank account customers’ free use of ATMs. In this guest post, chief executive Ross McEwan tells us what the bank is doing for its customers and asks for your feedback…

Banks don’t often admit it when they get things wrong. However, I’ll hold my hands up and say that when it came to limiting access to ATMs for our basic bank account customers back in 2011, that’s exactly what we did.

We said at the time that the cost of allowing these customers to use other banks’ ATMs was too high for us. The financial case for this decision hasn’t changed but we looked again at this recently and decided it just wasn’t right. You don’t make life harder for those customers who need our help most.

We are a bank that is determined to earn back trust of our customers. We know that we have to make banking easier for all of our customers, particularly those with stretched finances who work hard to make ends meet.

This is why last week we announced that we’re reversing our policy, so that from the end of this year, all one million of our RBS and NatWest basic bank account customers will be able to use any Link ATM across the UK.

This will make a huge difference to those who have struggled to access their money.

Rewarding customer loyalty

Removing ATM restrictions is just one of the many steps we’re taking to earn back trust. Across this bank, we’ve made a number of commitments to customers to make banking easier for them, which I announced back in February.

These include no longer offering deals and products to new customers that we’re not prepared to offer our existing customers. They may encourage people to switch banks but they send a terrible message to our loyal customers and this practice has no place at RBS and NatWest.

We have also banned teaser rates, including zero per cent balance transfers in our credit card business. This may be the industry norm, but they trap people into debts they cannot afford and at RBS and NatWest, we don’t feel comfortable that this is the right thing for our customers.

We’ve also stopped offering different rates to customers who apply online, in branch or by phoning our call centres. Customers should be able to bank with us in the way that’s best for them.

These are just a few examples of ways we’re doing the right thing to earn back our customers’ trust. But I want to hear from you on what else you think we should be doing to make banking easier for you as customers? What should we be doing more of and what could we change?

Which? Conversation provides guest spots to external contributors. This is from Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive. All opinions expressed here are Ross’s own, not necessarily those of Which?.

Comments
Member

I think this rather misses the point. I don’t bank with RBS, but have never had a problem with my current account (except when one bank closed an account against instructions, but that was quickly and amicably resolved).
My lack of trust is on three fronts.
Sharp practice (dishonesty?) in, for example, mis-selling PPI and business interest rate contracts.
Incompetence – in buying other banks, in appalling investment decisions, manipulating markets in their own interests
Rewards – paying themselves ludicrous amounts of money, even after failure, on the pretext they might go elsewhere otherwise.
Start to address these, and similar, issues and trust might eventually return, but not by simply allowing free access to cash machines.

Member

Totally agree Malcolm. Posturing with gestures doesn’t flatter.

Member
Ian Fraser says:
19 June 2014

Trouble is the sharp practise that Malcolm R refers seems to remain prevalant across the bank (e.g. in its foot dragging ovver IRHP compensation, and its continued despicable persecution, via the courts and other means, of a great many business borrowers who have done absolutely nothing wrong.

Member
Hugh Scullion says:
20 June 2014

Ian do you think that when RBS raised £12,000,000,000 on the S.E. the directors hoodwinked investors? If the directors acted honestly when they did this would you agree they at best criminally ignorant incompetent and unfit to run a company? Can you find an argument that expplains how you can be that incompetent you should escape prosecution. Why after the bailout was Fred Goodwin given a huge pension and not disbarred from running a company?

Member
Ian Fraser says:
20 June 2014

Hugh of course they did! And of course the directors were c incompetent. It seems self evident they lied about the bank’s financial strength in the rights issue prospectus – which means Deloitte, Linklaters, UBS, Merrill lynch and Goldman Sachs are also guilty of a massive deception. The ex directors and the bank can expect to be found out in the current ‘group action’ against RBS – the largest ever to be heard in the UK – in which the bank is being sued by at least 5,000 of its own staff and all bar five of the 25 largest institutional investors in the bank at that time (2008). Thank God for English justice, eh!

Member
JohnR says:
21 June 2014

Actually Ian, RBS has it’s registered address in Scotland, which would come under Scots Law, which in some circumstances is fairer than English Law!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Member
Ian Fraser says:
21 June 2014

You are right there. Not sure why they opted to sue in England & Wales.

Member
John Kidd says:
19 June 2014

The review of Interest Rate Products has been conducted at a snails pace, fails to keep people informed. Mis represents facts that they have available, mis informed in regards to time frames, The fca said the following and i quote “I would think that end to end, 12 weeks from entering the review process would be more than achievable” to date if you look at my case 43 weeks according to me and still not finalised. (39 according to rbs) i know of others who have yet to obtain a redress offer.

Member
John Kidd says:
19 June 2014

Don’t get me started on consequential Loss Claims, and legal fees in the review guidance according to the fca you do not need to utilize claim companies. OK

But the people judging your case are the very institutions who have mis sold so logically most use solicitors. These costs will not usually be refunded. so you have to sign litigation rights away in accepting a redress offer. So legal firms are must if you have been mis sold you should therefore be allowed to claim, legal fees back. Not according to rbs.