Royal Bank of Scotland changes its name to NatWest

Branches will retain the RBS name as new boss promises no impact on customers or staff.

Royal Bank of Scotland changes its name to NatWest Getty Images

The Royal Bank of Scotland is to undergo a rebrand in the first major decision by new chief executive Alison Rose, changing its name to NatWest plc.

Bosses said the move was because 80% of customers bank with the NatWest brand, rather than through RBS branches, adding that it will have no impact on customers or staff.

RBS branches will retain their name under the move.

The decision comes as Ms Rose unveiled a 5p-a-share special dividend, meaning the bank’s biggest shareholder – the UK Government – will receive a payout of nearly £600m.

With the interim dividend paid out earlier this year, it means the taxpayer has been handed £1.7bn so far this year.

Making the payment is possible because the bank managed to hit an operating profit before tax of £4.2bn – up 26% from £3.4bn in 2018.

The results were boosted by the merger of Alawwal Bank and the Saudi British Bank, in which RBS had a stake, but was knocked by an extra £900m in PPI payments.

Ms Rose, who was also making a speech to staff on Friday morning setting out her strategy, added: “These results are a reminder of the strong foundations we have built. Our profits are up, our capital position remains strong, and this year we will have returned a further £2.7bn to our shareholders.

“But our performance doesn’t yet match the potential that exists in this bank. We can deliver so much more.”