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RBS and Natwest launch new Customer Charter

Charter is a positive first step, says Which?

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Government bails-out RBS

In a bid to become ‘Britain’s most helpful bank’, Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest has today launched a Customer Charter detailing what its customers have a right to expect from the bank.

The views of more than 30,000 bank customers fed into the 14-point charter. The bank plans to publish details of how it is measuring up to the new charter every six months in an independent audit by Deloitte.

RBS/Natwest charter is a step in the right direction

Commenting on the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Customer Charter, Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith said: ‘Which? knows people are concerned about the lack of good financial products available, irresponsible lending and the poor customer service they too often receive in banks.

‘While RBS’s Customer Charter is a positive step to improve performance for consumers, banks must implement the recommendations of the Future of Banking Commission to resolve the fundamental problems in the sector.’

Main points in the RBS/Natwest Customer Charter

  • Early morning and late night opening in 200 branches by the end of the year
  • Aim to serve the majority of customers queuing in its branches within five minutes by introducing a queue measurement tool to its busiest 300 branches
  • Pledge to stay open if RBS or Natwest is the last bank in town
  • Personal Annual Statements to be sent to over one million current account customers
  • A financial education programme in schools, comprising 25,000 MoneySense lessons
  • Twice-yearly publication of the top five most common complaints received by the bank

Brian Hartzer, chief executive officer of RBS and NatWest said: ‘We had a searing experience as a business and are thankful we were rescued. We have since taken stock on how we do things. There’s a lot we do well for customers, but we can do more and we want to change. This won’t happen overnight, but the Customer Charter is our pledge that we are on the case and will be held to account against the progress we make.’

The Future of Banking Commission

The new charter from RBS/Natwest comes as the Future of Banking Commission launches its report. The Commission has listened to what consumers really want through the Which? Big Banking Debate, and has made recommendations to the new government that will improve the way banks treat you in the future. Some of the key recommendations include:

  • Banks should cease rewarding frontline staff for increasing sales
  • The introduction of a ‘good practice’ code for the banking profession


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