As part of a rebranding strategy ahead of regulatory requirements to ring-fence its retail banking operations by 2019, the taxpayer-owned bank will use the NatWest brand south of the border (and in Western Europe), but will stick with the Royal Bank of Scotland/RBS nomenclature in Scotland.
The UK ring-fencing legislation requires the separation of essential banking services from investment banking services, in the hope of preventing a repeat of the previous decade’s banking crisis, which saw hubristic levels of risk-taking among investment banks bring the global economy to its knees.
RBS’s investment banking arm, currently trading as RBS PLC, will be a non-ring-fenced bank trading under the revived name of NatWest Markets, a name last used by the National Westminster Bank before it succumbed to a takeover by RBS.
Most of the bank’s existing personal, private, business and commercial customers will be transferred from The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC to Adam & Company PLC, the group’s Scottish private bank, by around the middle of 2018.
Coutts and Co, meanwhile, will continue to serve the group’s private banking customers, within the ring-fence.
In Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the company will stick with the existing Ulster Bank and Ulster Bank Ireland brands and legal entities.
"Our proposed future structure under the ring-fencing legislation and our brand strategy are key elements of the bank we are becoming. The future ring-fenced structure of the bank is not only designed to be in compliance with the new regulatory requirements and objectives but will better reflect who we are as a bank and what we stand for: a bank that is focused on its customers," said Ross McEwan, RBS’s chief executive.