Building Trust in the Banking Sector

I was really interested to hear Ross McEwan, CEO of RBS on the Today Programme this morning (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26364662) talking about putting customers back at the centre of his plans.

Crucial to the RBS plan is the rebuilding of trust. I’m no banking analyst but it’s plain to see that trust has been shattered by a number of issues:

  • the banking crash of 2008 and the resulting publicly-funded bail-out
  • the PPI scandal
  • media hype around bankers’ bonuses
  • the fixing of LIBOR
  • the withdrawal of lending to small businesses (perceived or real)
  • massive losses announced year after year
  • various serious IT failures that have impacted customers’ ability to use services

A self-acknowledged thread running through all of this is a lack of respect for the customer.  This is what RBS now seeks to address.

In his interview, McEwan says they need to do more for the customer.  He made great statements about fairer pricing and about matching acquisition offers for in-life customers, but I think they still need to change the way they think about the customer at every level, every minute of every day.
While it strikes me that RBS may be becoming more customer centric in their approach, they still have a long way to go to become customer obsessed. That can only happen in the hearts and minds of every employee.
I’ve just looked through three job advertisements/descriptions on LinkedIn for roles at RBS, all relatively senior, in different functions.  Over the whole of three ads, the word ‘customer’ appears just twice.
And that is not how you hire a customer obsessed workforce.

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