NatWest Group plc

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NatWest Group is a British banking and insurance holding company, based in Edinburgh. It is 62% taxpayer-owned and subsidised. The group operates a wide variety of banking brands offering personal and business banking, private banking, insurance and corporate finance through its offices located in Europe, North America and Asia. Its main UK subsidiaries are:

  • Royal-Bank-of-Scotland.svg
    Royal Bank of Scotland
  • NatWest
  • Ulster Bank Ltd
  • Coutts-gold-2011.svg
    Coutts & Company
  • Adam & Company
  • Child & Company
  • Drummonds Bank
  • Holt's Military Banking
  • Isle of Man Bank
  • Lombard North Central plc
  • RBS International
  • NatWest Markets plc
Sources: RBS: About us. Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Original archived on Apr.07.2020.

Corporate Political Engagement Rating:[1] Transparency International    B  

BankTrack-Fossil-Bank.svg Financing Fossil Fuels:[2]
 Tar Sands: $3m   Arctic Oil: $120m   Offshore: $72m   Fracking: $28m   Coal Mining: $182m   Coal Power: $37m 



Total float: 37.8%
Source: MarketScreener.svg, Mar.2020


  • NatWest Holdings
    • National Westminster Bank in England and Wales and western Europe
      • Coutts & Company, private bankers
      • Ulster Bank, in Northern Ireland
    • Royal Bank of Scotland, in Scotland
    • Ulster Bank Ireland, in the Republic of Ireland and
    • Lombard North Central, asset finance business
    • RBS Invoice Finance (Holdings)
    • Messrs Drummond, private bankers, incl. Holt's Military Banking
    • Child & Co, private bankers
    • Adam & Company, private bankers
    • NatWest Markets
    • Royal Bank of Scotland International (Holdings)
      • Royal Bank of Scotland International Ltd, t/a Coutts Crown Dependencies
      • Isle of Man Bank
      • National Westminster Bank Nominees (Jersey)
ToDo: RBS structure

Global Restructuring Group



  • NatWest-Group-horiz.svg
    Jul.2020: NatWest Group plc: RBS Group plc changed its name in the hope that a rebrand would help shift its image away from its association with the Financial crisis of 2007–2008Wikipedia-W.svg.[3] The govt rescued the bank in 2008 at a cost of £45bn, and it is still 62% state-owned.[4]
  • 2016: NatWest Holdings was an intermediate holding company for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group's retail banking interests in the UK. It was created as part of a structural reform intended to comply with the requirements of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013. The Act implemented the Independent Commission on Banking recommendation that core domestic operations should be "ring-fenced" from wholesale and investment banking activities by 2019.[5]
  • 1979:
    Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc: the holding company was renamed.[6] Royal Bank of Scotland GroupWikipedia-W.svg, RBS.comArchive-org-sm.svg

ToDo: link, NatWest MarketsWikipedia-W.svg, Merchant bankWikipedia-W.svg, Royal Bank of ScotlandWikipedia-W.svg, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, National Westminster Bank plc, Reports 1997-2005Archive-org-sm.svg, [x Reports 1997-2009]Archive-org-sm.svg, NatWest acquisitionArchive-org-sm.svg, NatWest Holdings was formed to be the direct parent of 5 licensed banks.[7]

National Westminster Bank plc

  • 2000: became part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, re-named as "NatWest Group" in 2020.
  • 1968: Merger of National Provincial Bank and Westminster Bank.

Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was established in 1727 by Royal Charter to provide a bank with strong Hanoverian and Whig ties.[8] It became a direct subsidiary of NatWest Holdings in 2019, following ring-fencing of the Group's core domestic business. NatWest Markets is the Group's investment banking arm.

  • 2008:
    ToDo: RBS bailout.
  • 1979:
    Royal Bank of Scotland Group: the holding company National & Commercial Banking Group Ltd was renamed.[6]
  • 1969: National & Commercial Banking Group Ltd: the National Commercial Bank of Scotland merged with the Royal Bank of Scotland.[9]

ToDo: link, link, link, link, link, link, link, link, link, link,


  • Jan.06.2019: RBS critic pays £20,000 for billboard criticising bank. Former chief of company ‘pushed to failure’ says it is worth it to raise awareness. A critic of Royal Bank of Scotland’s disgraced restructuring unit has spent £20,000 on a billboard berating the high street bank as part of efforts to reinstate an investigation into wrongdoing at the lender. Mitchell has filed a legal application in the hope of forcing the Financial Conduct Authority to overturn a 2018 decision that allowed RBS and senior managers to escape disciplinary action over the mistreatment of small- and medium-sized business customers at its now-defunct Global Restructuring Group. The FCA said actions by GRG ultimately fell outside its jurisdiction, as commercial lending is unregulated in the UK. Mitchell filed his legal application for the case against the FCA at the end of October 2018, and says he has more than 530 fellow complainants on board. Kalyeena Makortoff, The Guardian.
  • Nov.16.2018: Labour’s break-up threat sends RBS into tailspin. The lender’s market value slid by almost £3bn as investors pondered the higher risk of a general election and the potential for a break-up of the bank under a Labour govt. Labour pledged to break up the bank into smaller local banks when it launched its election manifesto last year. Louisa Clarence-Smith, The Times.
  • Oct.27.2018: RBS boss is sorry for ‘confusing’ MPs. Ross McEwan, boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, has apologised to the Treasury select committee chairwoman after earlier rejecting her accusation that he misled MPs. In a letter to Nicky Morgan, Ross McEwan said he was sorry for “any confusion” he caused when he failed to reveal to the committee a police investigation into an alleged bribery scandal at the bank’s restructuring unit. Ms Morgan said last month that the RBS chief executive had purposely “withheld information of relevance and interest” when questioned by the committee in January about its disgraced Global Restructuring Group (GRG). James Hurley, The Times.
  • Oct.01.2018: Are RBS’s victims banging their heads against a brick wall? 500 people are busy working on the lender’s compensation scheme for victims of its Global Restructuring Group, a division found by a regulatory report to have mistreated thousands of small and medium-sized companies. It can take 6 months or longer from a complaint being received to a decision letter being sent. The slow pace of the review process, set up by the bank in Nov.2016, has been one of several bones of contention. As of Sept.21, the scheme has received 1,629 complaints. Six in ten, or 978 cases, have been sent a decision letter. Slightly less than half of customers have had any of their allegations upheld. Of all of the 6,610 allegations made, only 1 in 5 has been upheld. The average compensation offer has been £44,264. James Hurley, The Times.
  • Sept.13.2018: RBS chairman mulls £4bn payout for investors. Bank could use surplus cash for special dividend. chairman Sir Howard Davies preferred choice was to use the spare cash to buy RBS shares from the govt. PatrickHosking, The Times.
  • Sept.12.2018: Nick Macpherson is on the money about Labour’s RBS plans. Sir Nick Macpherson, the former senior Treasury official, is right: the Labour leadership needs to get its thinking straight about Royal Bank of Scotland. The current plans, which envisage using RBS as a vehicle for state-directed lending to small businesses, look like a confused mish-mash that could be hideously expensive. There could be a case for nationalisation on the railways, said Macpherson, “but steer clear of the banks”. It is sound advice. RBS these days is only 62% owned the state, and could soon be minority-owned, so an incoming chancellor could not simply seize command and start issuing instructions. Labour, if it’s really gearing up for an imminent election, as shadow chancellor John McDonnell says, needs to rethink. It has, thankfully, dropped the idea of splitting RBS into 100 regional lenders, probably realising that the country does not need 100 new thinly capitalised Northern Rocks. The revised plan is less dramatic and, yes, by all means launch a “national investment bank” to pursue a few economic objectives. But keep RBS, for all its faults, frustrations and past bad behaviour, independent. Nils Pratley, The Guardian.
  • Sept.02.2018: RBS, led by Ross McEwan, ready to buy back taxpayers’ shares. Royal Bank of Scotland is planning to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to win investor support for a share buyback aimed at reducing the govt’s stake. The lender is still 62.4% owned by taxpayers. A directed buyback — where the bank would purchase shares only from the government — would have to come in tandem with a placement by UKGI, which controls the government’s stake. Rosamund Urwin, The Times.
  • Aug.01.2018: RBS: Victims’ anger as bank escapes Scot free. Victims of Royal Bank of Scotland’s disgraced restructuring unit have reacted with fury to the City regulator’s decision not to take the bank to task. James Hurley, The Times.
  • Jun.03.2018: RBS’s Saudi escape. Royal Bank of Scotland is within weeks of being able to start offloading most of its stake in Saudi Arabian bank Saudi Hollandi Bank (Alawwal Bank), freeing £4.9bn of capital and bringing RBS a step closer to a return to private ownership. Alawwal is merging with the HSBC-backed Saudi British Bank (SABB), which will make it easier for RBS to sell the stake, reportedly worth £7bn. RBS, 71%-owned by the British taxpayer, was part of a consortium with Banco Santander SA and Fortis NV/SA that acquired 40% of Alawwal when it took over ABN AMRO Bank NV in 2007. While RBS owned only 15% of Alawwal, it held all the consortium’s risk-weighted assets on its balance sheet, meaning it had to hold £5.9bn to cover the risk of Alawwal becoming insolvent. This will fall to just under £1bn after the Alawwal-SABB deal. RBS would own about 5% of the newly merged entity. Rosamund Urwin, The Sunday Times.
  • Apr.22.2018: Bankers squabble over RBS windfall. The Royal Bank of Scotland, 70% owned by the taxpayer, is having to hand £775m to its rivals to increase competition in the small business market — money to be divvied up between smaller banks and fintech firms. Not only has the scheme faced repeated delays, but it is now also beset by infighting. After RBS failed both to sell and to float its Williams & Glyn division — a 7-year saga that cost the bank more than £1.5bn — this is Plan C, intended to satisfy an EU state-aid penalty after RBS’s 2008 bailout during the financial crisis. .. At least 5 banks — TSB, Spain’s Santander, Metro, CYBG and the digital-only Starling — will apply for the biggest tranche of £280m of the capability fund. Santander’s bid has made many see red. Applicants must have less than £350bn in UK assets and, while Santander technically qualifies, it is a global megabank with up to 10% of the UK market already. The fury over Santander’s inclusion runs so deep that some sniff a conspiracy. The rumour is that the European Commission wanted it to be allowed to bid as a reward for rescuing its rival Banco Popular. However, most City figures believe that Santander was included to ensure the switching fund succeeds. The Treasury has not yet named its independent board to oversee the fund. Rosamund Urwin, The Times.
  • Mar.19.2018: East India Club to sue RBS over fraud ‘failure’. The East India Club is threatening to sue Royal Bank of Scotland over alleged failings that enabled a former employee to steal more than £560,000. The bank provided two suspicious transaction warnings in Jan.2014, but Mr Wolsey said one was an email to the culprit and the other a phone call to the club’s switchboard. The fraud was not spotted until Mr Gabriel owned up. James Hurley, The Times.
  • Mar.12.2018: How RBS’s GRG unit came to own hotel it was supposed to be saving Last month, MPs forced the publication of a damning regulatory report into the activities of GRG. When the business was valued in Feb.2010 in order to support new lending, Savills said that it would be worth £7.7mn upon completion. Nine days before its scheduled opening that summer, the bank said that the partnership was running short on funds to complete the project and pulled support. Within days, West Register had instructed GRG staff to conduct a new valuation, and BDO to conduct an "independent business review". BDO informed GRG staff that the valuation of the hotel was a "critical" issue and that if a new valuation came in significantly below that of Savills, they could "foresee problems". Knight Frank set the value at between £2.5mn and £3mn. By the time the hotel shut, its outstanding debt was £4.5mn. Later in 2010, the hotel went on the market; West Register won the bidding, paying £4.2m in cash. James Hurley, The Times.
  • Feb.24.2018: Royal Bank of Scotland records first profit in a decade. The state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland celebrated “a special day” yesterday as it announced its first annual profit since the financial crisis. RBS made £752m in 2017, compared with a £7bn net loss in 2016, after stripping away legacy problems and increasing the growth of its core business. Katherine Griffiths, The Times.
  • Feb.23.2018: RBS makes first profit in a decade. The Royal Bank of Scotland has become profitable for the first time in a decade, hailing it as a “really symbolic moment”. The bank, majority owned by the taxpayer, went from a £6.95bn loss to a £750m annual profit. I have been speaking to the RBS boss Ross McEwan. (Video report) Siobhan Kennedy, Channel 4 News.
  • Feb.07.2018: Hundreds of thousands of pounds in bonuses may be repaid. Carillion's former directors may come under pressure to repay hundreds of thousands of pounds in bonuses if they are found guilty of misconduct or misstatement of the failed construction company’s accounts. A parliamentary hearing into the collapse of Carillion heard that Richard Howson, the former chief executive, received cash bonuses totalling £540,000 last year and the year before. During the same two years, Richard Adam, the former finance director, received £355,000. Alison Horner, chairwoman of Carillion's remuneration committee, conceded that the board "may have looked harder" at the payouts and could have exercised "downward discretion". Robert Lea, The Times.
  • Feb.07.2018: Carillion's own goal. Ex-chief exec. Richard Howson couldn't extract the £200m Carillion claimed it was owed. In the stocks were Carillion's directors, not least Mr Howson and two finance chiefs, Richard Adam and Zafar Khan. They formed part of a "series of delusional characters", in the words of commitee heads Frank Field and Rachel Reeves, blaming anything but themselves. The real news was from Keith Cochrane, the non-exec thrust into the hot seat last July. He disclosed a last-ditch rescue plan in early 2018, involving a £160m taxpayer bailout. Alastair Osborne, The Times.
  • Feb.07.2018: RBS bosses misled parliament over GRG scandal, claims MP. Clive Lewis, the shadow Treasury minister, said that he had been posted a leaked copy of a regulatory report into the activities of the Global Restructuring Group (GRG) which he claimed was far more critical than a "sanitised" summary issued last year by the Financial Conduct Authority. Mr Lewis claimed that RBS executives "had a stated policy of misleading" MPs. Mr Lewis used parliamentary privilege yesterday to claim that the contents of the full report, yet to be issued by the FCA, show that Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive, and Sir Howard Davies, the bank's chairman, "misled the select committee" in evidence last week. Nicky Morgan suggested that the committee, which is today due to question Andrew Bailey, the FCA chief executive, would not publish the report provided by Mr Lewis. James Hurley, The Times.
  • Feb.03.2018: ‘NatWest closed my account with no explanation’ Growing numbers of people are being shown the door as banks ‘de-risk’ their businesses. Many of those affected are of Asian or African origin. Welcome to the secretive world of bank “de-risking”. In 2016, City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority revealed that in recent years it had become aware that banks were withdrawing banking facilities from customers in greater numbers than before. It said there was a perception that this was driven by banks’ concerns about the money laundering and terrorist financing risks posed by certain types of customer. A 2016 FCA report revealed that two large (unnamed) UK banks were closing about 1,000 personal and 600 business/corporate accounts per month for “risk appetite-type reasons”. It also revealed that the Financial Ombudsman Service was dealing with 20-30 complaints a week about bank account closures. Money estimated the figure was nearer 80-90 a week. Because countries deemed risky in terms of money laundering and financing terrorism tend to be Asian and African, people from these areas may be particularly vulnerable. The numbers of people being ditched by their bank look set to rise even further because UK banks and building societies have this month started carrying out immigration checks on 70m personal current accounts as part of measures agreed by parliament to encourage those living and working in the UK illegally to leave. Rupert Jones, The Guardian.
  • Nov.22.2017: Government faces £26bn loss on RBS shares as it announces plan to sell them off. The govt is dusting off plans to re-privatise taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland with the aim of selling £15bn of its shares by 2023. It plans to restart share sales in RBS by the end of the 2018-19 financial year and sell off £3bn a year over 5 years – around two-thirds of its 72% stake. The Red Book shows the £3bn a year boost from the RBS sale will help fund many of Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget giveaways. The govt said it now faces a £26.2bn loss on its stake in RBS, down from a previous forecast of £29.2bn in March, after a recent recovery in the value of the bank's shares. But it will still see the govt take a hefty loss on its stake in the lender, with shares languishing well below the average 502p share price paid during the 2008 and 2009 bail-out – at around 271p at today’s prices. The govt has had more success recouping its bail-out cash in Lloyds Banking Group plc finally fully returning the bank to private hands in May at a £900m profit on its original investment. The Treasury has also agreed with the European Commission in September that RBS will fund and deliver a £775m package of measures designed to improve competition in Britain’s banking market. Holly Williams, The Independent.
  • Mar.06.2015: The sorry history of the near-destruction of investment banking at RBS. This week, the Royal Bank of Scotland begun getting rid of 14,000 of its 18,000 investment banking workforce. The RBS collapse did not come suddenly. It was decades in the making, and was the result of an internal culture that put the sale of questionable financial products ahead of concerns about the risk those products would create. The bank grew recklessly, overpaying for other banks that it acquired, as its balance sheet ballooned to £2.2tn, larger than the entire GDP of the UK. When the credit crunch hit in 2007, the bank was riddled with risky investments that imploded. The govt paid £45.5bn to bail out the bank through 2009, ending up with an 81% ownership stake. One of its CEOs, Fred Goodwin, was stripped of his knighthood as a result. The rot inside the 300-year old lender started 30 years ago. From the deregulation of the banking sector between 1979-1983 under Margaret Thatcher, to the appointment exit of Stephen Hester in Oct.2013, the timeline of RBS' demise is complex and riddled with management failings that the lender is still trying to put right. (Good timeline of events in this article.) Liannna Brinded, Business Insider.
  • Feb.24.2012: A big loss-making bank pays its bankers more. RBS should be broken up. The govt should create 3 good UK banks out of the assets and liabilities of RBS, and float them off. An alternative proposal is to give the shares to UK taxpayers. Taxpayers would only be able to sell them when they were above a specified price, and would have to send a specified part of the profit to the Treasury. Meanwhile, back in the real world, we seem to be lumbered with the idea that the whole of RBS is going to be turned around, and in due course taxpayers will be able to get their money back by selling the shares. RBS has done itself no favours by its handling of the rewards of the Investment bankers, and creaming off too much of their profit at a time when large losses are being made elsewhere in the Group. If the Investment bankers want to make loads of money they should buy their bank off the taxpayer, and then they could pay themselves what they like. All the time they are punting with taxpayers money, and are part of a loss-making group, their remuneration will be a highly charged political issue. John Redwood, John Redwood's blog.
  • Dec.18.2008: The Oil and Gas Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland has long ploughed money into fossil fuels - but now we own it, shouldn't it stop? A look at the campaign to get the bank to take responsibility for climate damage. Red Pepper.


  1. ^ Corporate Political Engagement Index 2018. The new index of 104 multi-national companies, many of whom regularly meet with govt, has found nearly 75% are failing to adequately disclose how they engage with politicians. Only one company received the highest grade, with the average grade being "E" – representing poor standards in transparency. Transparency International UK, Nov.2018.
  2. ^ Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020. The new Report shows financial support for the Fossil Fuel Industry has increased every year since the Paris Agreement was adopted in Dec.2015. Again, the big USA banks dominate; again, JPMorgan Chase leads the pack, with Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Bank of America close on their heels. These 4 banks alone are responsible for 30% of all fossil fuel financing out of the 35 major global banks since the Paris Agreement was adopted. Rainforest Action Network, Mar.20.2019.
  3. ^ About us: Our plan to change our parent name. RBS Group plc. Original archived on Apr.07.2020.
  4. ^ RBS Group to change its name to NatWest. BBC News, Feb.14.2020.
  5. ^ RBS to strengthen NatWest brand. Jill Treanor, The Guardian, Sept.30.2016.
  6. ^ a b National Commercial Bank of Scotland Ltd, Edinburgh, 1959-69. Heritage Archives, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. Original archived on Feb.09.2011.
  7. ^ RBS Announces Proposed Future Ring-Fenced Legal Entity Structure and Investment in Customer Brands. NatWest Group, Sept.30.2016.
  8. ^ "Integration and Enlightenment: Scotland 1746-1832.", Bruce Lenman, Edinburgh University Press, Oct.1981, ISBN: 9780748603855
  9. ^ The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Edinburgh, 1727-date. Heritage Archives, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. Original archived on Sept.28.2010.