RBS trumpets progress made toward ‘most trusted’ goal

Royal Bank of Scotland says it is making progress in achieving its objective to become the “most trusted” UK bank by 2020 with net promoter scores up across its brands but admits legacy conduct failings mean it still has a long way to go to restore lost faith.

The banking group set out its ambitious target in February as part of its long-term effort to remould its business following a tax-payer bailout in 2008. Changes include an end to so-called “sweetner deals” – incentives made to prospective customers not offered to existing customers.

In a statement to announce its quarterly results, RBS says Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for its Royal Bank of Scotland brand’s personal banking business have increased to -4 from -17 in September 2013. Natwest has also enjoyed an uplift – to 7 from 4 a year earlier.

The company says the Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest brands trail the market leader by 30 and 24 points respectively.

It is not known which banks currently enjoy the highest NPS scores although it is likely First Direct, Santander and Nationwide rank highly.

Similar rates of progress were detailed for the business and commercial banking arms of both brands.

The scale of the task was, however, highlighted in its quarterly statement. The group says it is putting aside £400m to cover the cost of fines over currency market rigging and an additional £100m to cover the cost of mis-selling payment protection insurance.

Ross McKewan, chief executive, says: “We know we still have a long list of conduct and litigation issues to deal with and much, much more to do to restore our customers’ trust in us.”