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RBS share price: CEO expects rebuilding of trust to take another decade

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Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (LON:RBS) chief executive reckons that the lender still has a long way to go to rebuild trust, the BBC reports. The comments came after it recently emerged that the bank, bailed-out by the UK government during the financial crisis and still majority-owned by the taxpayer, was considering ditching its corporate name after suffering severe reputational damage.

RBS’ share price has started today’s trading in negative territory, having given up 0.88 percent to 246.70p as at 08:00 BST. The stock, however, is outperforming the selloff in the broader UK market, which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index plunge 1.40 percent to 7,045.56 points at the opening bell.

Rebuilding trust

RBS’ chief executive Ross McEwan told the BBC that while the lender’ finances may now be fixed when it came to building levels of trust, there was still a long way to go.

“I think it will take five – maybe even 10 – years to rebuild trust to where we’d want it to be,” he pointed out.  RBS was rescued by the UK government during the financial crisis and has since been undergoing significant restructuring, retreating for international operations and focusing on its business at home. The group, however, has been plagued by fines and past misconduct.

The newswire notes that RBS used to make  nearly 40 percent of its revenue overseas, as compared with seven percent today, while its assets have shrunk from £2.2 trillion to £748 billion.

‘Not simple but simpler’

“We will never be simple – but we will be simpler,” McEwan told the BBC, adding that he considers the threat of cyber-attack the bank’s number one risk.

While RBS is now making a profit of about £1 billion every three months and has started paying a dividend to its shareholders, the group’s boss acknowledges that it is very unlikely that taxpayers will ever be repaid in full.

As of 08:13 BST, Thursday, 11 October, Royal Bank of Scotland Group share price is 246.70p.

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