Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester vows to rebuild trust on visit to Kent
RBS chief executive
Stephen Hester (second left) with (from left) Premier Alarms
managing director Vincent Humphreys, Sarah Humphreys and MP Michael
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Royal Bank of Scotland chief Stephen Hester pledged to rebuild
trust with business customers during a visit to Kent.
The man charged with turning around a bank that is 84% owned by
the taxpayer spent a day in Sevenoaks hearing the views of business
clients and staff.
The visit came at a time when banks are under pressure to step
up lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
He teamed up with local MP and business minister Michael Fallon
to visit guitar string manufacturer Rotosound, and Premier Alarms's
reburbished premises on Chaucer Business Park.
Mr Hester also answered questions at a round table discussion
with business owners, and spent time in the NatWest branch - part
of the RBS Group - in Sevenoaks.
He said later: "I met with a number of our business customers
who are playing a vital role in the economy here. It is encouraging
for me to see that our relationship managers are really building
the rapport with these customers that is crucial to knowing the
needs of individual SMEs and rebuilding the trust between
businesses and our bank."
He added: "I have made it clear that RBS must now ensure that
our culture is always focussed on our customers and, on today’s
evidence, we are well positioned to do that through the attitude
and efforts of our frontline."
Vincent Humphreys, managing director of Premier Alarms, said the
company had achieved a competitive edge through innovative
investment and sheer hard work.
"As a company that has banked with NatWest since its inception
over 25 years ago, we feel the visit reflects a positive move for
the RBS group to understand SMEs in greater depth."
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