RBS boss heads to Norfolk insisting that the bank is open for business.

Ian Cowie chief executive business and commercial banking at RBS Ian Cowie chief executive business and commercial banking at RBS

Shaun Lowthorpe Business editor shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk
Saturday, January 25, 2014
1:59 PM

The head of commercial banking at state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland headed to Norfolk yesterday insisting that the bank was open for business.

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Ian Cowie, chief executive business and commercial banking, met with 15 customers during a visit to Norwich which also included a roundtable session with Norfolk Chamber officials and senior lawyers and accountants from around the county.

The bank has come under fire in the wake of a report by Lawrence Tomlinson claiming that the bank deliberately forced companies into default to seize their property, while its own commissioned review by Sir Andrew Large said there was some plausibility in the claims because of the structure of the bank and its turnaround division Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

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Norfolk businessman Andy Keats was among those providing evidence to the Tomlinson report in the wake of what he called a “crazy” decision to force the closure of his business Keepsafe in Dereham.

Mr Cowie said he had not specifically come to Norfolk to meet any of those businesses affected.

“It’s about understanding what’s happening out there a the moment and supporting the team locally,” he said. “For my part its about making sure we are getting the message across that we are open for business. This region is a really important area for us.

“I have not asked to see happy or sad customers. What I have asked to see is a cross section to customers that have worked with us and people that aren’t customers that are thinking of becoming customers. I didn’t come to talk to anyone specifically and I don’t have the specific details of who was involved or wasn’t involved.”

With the economy showing signs of picking up he also said the bank was keen to get its message across that it was ready to lend. “We are going to try and support customers,” he added. “We have changed ourselves. We know we can do better – we are here in the local community understanding what’s going on.

2 comments

  • So the economic storm has passed and the creepy crawlies are coming out from under their rocks - I wonder how long they'll stay around when it starts raining again? Businesses need banks that will at least put their clients' interests on a par with their own - does anyone really believe than when the going gets tough these creatures won't run back under their rocks leaving their customers to get a soaking? Why is Mr Cowie at pains to emphasise he's not here to see the businesses his bank had compromised? Sorry seems to be the hardest word......

    Report this comment

    flatliner

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • During last November, HSBC introduced a restriction to access to our cash, as yet customers have only heard this from Reuters, not from the bank themselves, a despicable praxis that follows in the wake of HSBC's money laundering for drug dealers, for which they were fined, but never saw anybody being bropught to justice for these approx. 9 billions of washed drug profits. RBS has persistently irgnored requests to regulate their bonuses to bankers, despite being owned by the public. Further, off shoring by all high street banks has not been tackled, how many millions of QE monies to banks has been deposited there and how much by RBS?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

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