Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) has been urged to drop ‘Scotland’ from its name, The Times has reported. The comments came with the part government-owned lender looking to close 62 branches across the country, claiming that more customers are turning to digital banking.
RBS’ share price rose on Friday, adding 1.89 percent to end the previous session at 302.40 GMT. The stock outperformed the broader London market, with the UK benchmark FTSE 100 index adding 15.70 points to end the session 0.20 percent higher. The group’s shares have added more than 38 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with more than a six-percent rise in the blue-chip index.
RBS urged to drop ‘Scotland’ from name
The Times reported over the weekend that a politician had called for RBS to drop the word Scotland from its name because of the ‘contempt’ it is showing the country by shutting branches. Angus MacNeil, the SNP MP for the Western Isles, is furious that Barra is to lose its RBS branch as part of closures planned across the country.
The lender, bailed out by the UK government at the height of the financial crisis, is cutting 62 sites in Scotland and 197 NatWest ones in England with the loss of about 680 jobs.
RBS defends closures
The Times notes that RBS has defended the closures, arguing that the usage of most branches has declined steeply with a growing number of customers choosing to bank digitally.
The news comes after Morgan Stanley turned bullish on the FTSE 100 lender last week, noting that the bailed-out lender offers earnings visibility compared to peers.
According to MarketBeat, RBS currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 268.28p.