Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc

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Royal Bank of Scotland
Founded 1727
Headquarters UK
Key People Sir Fred Goodwin, Group Chief Executive; Gordon Pell, Chairman of Regional Markets
Products Financial and banking services

The Royal Bank of Scotland, owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, is a leading financial services provider and one of the oldest banks in the UK.

In addition to the UK, it has offices in Europe, the USA and Asia. By the end of 2002, it was the second largest bank in Europe and the fifth largest in the world by market capitalization.

It became one of Europe's biggest corporate lenders, and a major acquirer, with more than $70 billion of takeovers since 2000.

However, RBS's fortunes began to turn sour after it led the world's biggest banking takeover, paying 72 billion euros ($97.7 billion) for ABN Amro Holding NV (along with Fortis of Belgium and Banco Santander SA of Spain). Many criticized RBS, saying it paid too much, and Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating for the first time since 1998. RBS shares plunged 82 percent in London trading on doubts that the company, with the lowest capital reserves among its British competitors, would be able to sustain itself.[1]

The company agreed to take part in a 50 billion-pound ($68 billion) bailout by the U.K. government in a rescue package designed to help British banks by providing up to 250 pounds of loan guarantees to help refinance debt and unlock frozen capital markets.[2]


Template:Infobox Midpage Need Sponsor The Royal Bank of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh by Royal Charter in 1727 and for several decades traded solely from its head office in the city's Old Town. In 1783, RBS opened its first branch office in Glasgow and went on to develop a network of offices throughout Scotland during the 19th Century.

In 1874, it opened a branch office in London and from the 1920s, through acquisition, developed a large presence in England. Banks that joined the group during these years included Drummonds (established c.1712), Williams Deacon's Bank (established 1836), Glyn, Mills & Co (established 1753) and Child & Co (established c.1580), with business in London, north-west England and overseas.

By 1970, following a merger with the Edinburgh-based National Commercial Bank of Scotland and the Commercial Bank of Scotland, RBS accounted for more than 40 percent of Scotland's banking business.

Under the Williams & Glyn's Bank banner, it also had a growing presence in England and Wales. In 1985, Williams & Glyn's merged fully with the group's Scottish clearing bank which, thereafter, traded throughout Britain as a single entity - The Royal Bank of Scotland.

During the 1980s, the RBS Group diversified; it set up the car insurance company Direct Line in 1985 and acquired Citizens Financial Group (established 1828) of Rhode Island in the USA in 1988.

During the early 1990s, it focused on its core business of retail banking, acquiring the private bank of Adam & Company (established 1983) in 1992. In 1994 RBS launched direct banking, which quickly became Britain's fastest growing 24-hour telephone banking operation. In 1997, it announced the UK's first on-line banking service and also embarked on joint financial services ventures with Tesco and Virgin Direct.

In 2000, in the biggest takeover in the history of British banking, the Royal Bank acquired National Westminster Bank Plc to create a highly diversified portfolio of services for personal, business and corporate customers.

NatWest's retail bank continues to operate as a distinct and separate brand.[3]

Products and Services

The Royal Bank of Scotland provides personal banking services such as mortgages, loans, investment and insurance; commercial banking for small businesses; and a full range of services in the global financial markets for international corporations and institutions.

Key People


  1. RBS's Credibility 'Shot to Bits' Since ABN Amro Deal. Bloomberg.
  2. RBS May Need to Speed Up Asset Sales After U.K. Bank Bailout. Bloomberg.
  3. Our Banking Family. Royal Bank of Scotland Group.