RBS becomes NatWest Group – time to ditch the baggage?

What difference does a name change make? RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland as was and still majority owned by the UK government after nearly bringing the nation grinding to a halt in the banking crisis) is changing its name to NatWest Group after its biggest brand.

RBS still has its problems, notably the residue of its laughingly-named Global Restructuring Group, a villainous bunch even by banking standards, who drove many SMEs into the buffers by charging outrageous amounts for their “restructuring” services. None of the leading figures, some of whom went on to other senior banking roles, have so far been brought to book.

In a way it’s a surprise that RBS hasn’t been ditched before although the brand is still an important one in Scotland. But the name change is a start, even if a cosmetic one under new CEO Alison Rose.

One wonders if new aNatWest ad agency The&Paftnershiop played a role in the name change? Be surprising if they hadn’t mentioned it.

PS I see that RBS CMO David Wheldon is to retire after a long career at agencies too. Wheldon is one of those rare clients who actually sees marketing from both viewpoints. Let’s hope he pops up somewhere else.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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