RBS to ditch ‘toxic’ brand name

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Royal Bank of Scotland is dropping the RBS brand from more than 500 branches across England, Scotland and Wales.

According to The Times, more than 300 outlets in England will be rebranded as Williams & Glyn, while in Scotland, the RBS name will be dropped for the full Royal Bank of Scotland.

A further 1,000 Natwest branches and Ulster Bank, also owned by RBS, is not expected to change.

The bank will continue to be called RBS on the stock exchange.

Following the change, the bank will then seek to sell or float the English Williams & Glyn operation by the end of 2017, including the renamed branches, as mandated by the European Union as part of the rules around its bailout.

The move reportedly comes as part of an effort to move the bank away from its crisis years, and in particular the efforts of former chief executive Fred Goodwin to champion the RBS brand globally.

One adviser told the newspaper the RBS brand had become “toxic” due to its association with Goodwin.

It comes after HSBC mooted its own rebranding exercise, exploring the option of a return for the Midland Bank name.

However, the bank dropped the plans in August last year, after finding that customers had little affinity for the name.