RBS to ring-fence its retail bank arm by end of month

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has said the ring-fencing of its retail banking operations will take effect at the end of this month.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 5th April 2018, 6:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th April 2018, 6:36 pm
The process involves separating the banks retail and investment activitites
The process involves separating the banks retail and investment activitites

The official launch on April 30 will make RBS the latest lender to formally transfer its retail customers to a separate unit as part of new UK regulations meant to protect consumer cash from investment banking risks.

The changes will involve separating its retail customers that are members of banking brands including RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank.

It will also mean ring-fencing some members of Coutts, and other RBS brands like Lombard, Drummonds, RBS Invoice Finance, Adam & Company and Holt’s Military Banking.

A spokesman for RBS - which is still 73% owned by the taxpayer - said personal customers should not expect disruption to services as a result of the changes that will be made over the weekend leading up to April 30.

The non ring-fenced bank will be made up of clients from NatWest Markets, NatWest International, RBS International and Isle of Man Bank.

The announcement comes just days after Barclays became the first British bank to complete the process ahead of the January 2019 deadline.

Barclays’ own transfer of customers took place over the Easter weekend, populating what is now called Barclays Bank UK - a unit that is separate from Barclays Bank which offers products and services for its larger corporate, wholesale and international banking clients.

Ring-fencing rules only apply to UK banks that hold more than £25 billion in core deposits from individuals and small to medium-sized businesses.

It is one of several key reforms introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.