Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) is considering ditching its corporate name after suffering severe reputational damage from the financial crisis and ten years of restructuring, The Times has reported, quoting the lender’s chairman. The FTSE 100 group remains part-owned by the UK government following its £45.5-billion bailout about a decade ago.
RBS’ share price has fallen into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.60 percent to 248.00p as of 09:04 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.34 percent lower at 7,293.77 points. The group’s shares have lost just under 10 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.5-percent drop in the Footsie.
RBS mulls over name change
RBS chairman Sir Howard Davis told The Times that the lender’s name was ‘under review’ with the lender having now resolved most of its historical problems shifting its focus to investing in its other brands — Natwest, Coutts and Ulster Bank. RBS was bailed out by the UK government during the financial crisis and has since been undergoing significant restructuring, retreating for international operations and focusing on its UK business. The group, however, has been plagued by fines and past misconduct.
Davis explained that while the RBS name has been hammered in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the group’s other brands have held up well.
“The brand damage to the core brands of Natwest, Coutts and Ulster has not been that bad at all, even though the parent has found it difficult to invest in them,” he pointed out, adding that they have been ‘remarkably robust’.
Decision not yet made
Davis, however, cautioned that the bank’s leadership has “not made a decision” about whether to change the group-wide RBS moniker, telling The Times that doing so could elicit a “hollow laugh” from onlookers as it would not signify meaningful change of the business.