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?.