LONDON Feb 10 State-backed British lender Royal
Bank of Scotland (RBS) needs to change its behaviour "at
every level" to restore trust and faces a hard road to recovery,
its new boss said on Monday.
Ross McEwan joined RBS in 2012 and took over as chief
executive in October with the task of reviving the bank and its
reputation after its 45 billion pound ($73.8 billion) bailout by
the British taxpayer and scandals such as the mis-selling of
loan insurance, for which it has set aside 3 billion pounds to
"To move from stability to renewal, we need to first address
and then clean up every aspect of how we treat customers,"
McEwan said in a commentary in The Guardian newspaper on Monday.
"We need to change our behaviour at every level to reflect this
New Zealander McEwan said that feedback from staff, the
public and customers since his arrival at the bank has been
"both sobering and illuminating".
"It has shown me the depth of feeling toward the bank, and
the scale of the changes needed to rebuild trust. It has
underlined just how hard the road will be to recovery."
RBS last month said it would take a 3.1 billion pound ($5.1
billion) hit to cover the cost of more past misdeeds, which is
expected to leave it with a 2013 loss of up to 8 billion pounds
- further evidence of the scale of the challenge McEwan faces as
he tries to revive the bank and allow the government to start
selling its 81 percent stake.
McEwan is due to unveil his strategic plan alongside annual
results on Feb. 27.
"My strategy for the bank, which I will spell out in detail
later this month, will start to address the complexities and
operational issues of a bank this size. But the customer will be
at its core," he said.
McEwan said he plans to reward customers for loyalty and
stop giving the best deals to people who switch banks or apply
online, and said that it will speed up lending decisions and rid
itself of the bureaucracy that holds up business growth.
The strategic update will include a detailed plan alongside
a timetable for change, as well as discussion about the part
bonuses should play, he said.