LONDON Dec 19 The new British bank being spun
out from Royal Bank of Scotland will shorten its name to
Williams & Glyn as it steps up plans from January for its
RBS is reviving an old banking name for the business it has
been forced to sell by European authorities as a cost of being
bailed out by UK taxpayers in 2008.
The business, which includes 314 branches and is due to
formally split from RBS in 2015, has up to now been called
"Williams & Glyn's", but will now drop the "'s".
"From January, we'll be consistent in referring to Williams
& Glyn, which is more simple and straightforward and also
acknowledges the bank's rich heritage," a spokesman for RBS
The Williams & Glyn network will include 308 branches that
are currently branded RBS in England and Wales and six that are
now NatWest branches in Scotland, and accounts for one in seven
of the group's 2,200 UK branches.
The decision partly reflects the difficulty of using an
apostrophe in branding and website addresses.
The name is derived from Williams & Glyn's Bank, which was
formed in 1969 when RBS merged Glyn, Mills & Co., a bank formed
in 1753 that became well known for financing railways, and
Williams Deacon's Bank, which was formed in London in 1771.
The bank's new chief executive, John Maltby, is due to
formally start in January. He was previously head of commercial
banking at Lloyds and his biggest challenge will be
separating the branches and accounts from RBS and setting up a
new technology platform, after a string of recent IT problems at
RBS raised concern about the robustness of its systems.
Williams & Glyn could be headquartered in Manchester, in
northwest England, although RBS said no decision had been made.
It will have big operations in Manchester, London and
Edinburgh and senior jobs have been advertised as potentially
based in any of the cities.
Williams & Glyn is expected to be a "challenger" to the
existing big four names on Britain's high street, with a
particular strength in small business banking, where it has
about 5 percent of the UK market.
It has nearly 1.7 million customers and employs around 4,500
people, which RBS said is likely to rise to 6,000 in the future.
RBS in September agreed to sell up to 49 percent of the
business to a consortium of investors led by U.S. private equity
firm Corsair for 600 million pounds.
The investors also include The Church of England, which said
it expects the bank to operate to high ethical standards after a
series of scandals across Britain's banks.
RBS, which is 82 percent owned by the UK government, is
expected to run the business separately before it is floated,
possibly in 2016. This week it said Rory Cullinan will oversee
the separation and flotation on its side.
Lloyds was also ordered by the European Commission to sell
630 branches. It has revived the TSB name and plans to float it
as a "challenger" bank next year.