Company Quick10K Filing
Quick10K
Royal Bank of Scotland
20-F 2018-12-31 Annual: 2018-12-31
20-F 2017-12-31 Annual: 2017-12-31
20-F 2016-12-31 Annual: 2016-12-31
20-F 2015-12-31 Annual: 2015-12-31
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BBVA Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria 31,739
BSMX Banco Santander 0
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BLX Foreign Trade Bank of Latin America 0
BMA Macro Bank 0
RBS 2018-12-31
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Royal Bank of Scotland Earnings 2018-12-31

RBS 20F Annual Report

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

20-F 1 a18-40313_120f.htm 20-F

 

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 


 

 

FORM 20-F

 

(Mark One)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

¨                                          REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

OR

 

x                                        ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018

 

OR

 

¨                                          TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

OR

 

o                                          SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

Commission file number: 001-10306

 

THE ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP plc

 

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

United Kingdom

 

(Jurisdiction of incorporation)

 

RBS Gogarburn, PO Box 1000, Edinburgh EH12 1HQ, United Kingdom

 

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

Aileen Taylor, Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel, Tel: +44 (0) 131 626 4099, Fax: +44 (0) 131 626 3081

 

PO Box 1000, Gogarburn, Edinburgh EH12 1HQ

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

 


 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 

 

Name of each exchange on which

Title of each class

 

registered

 

 

 

American Depositary Shares, each representing 2 ordinary shares, nominal value £1 per share

 

New York Stock Exchange*

Ordinary shares, nominal value £1 per share

 

 

American Depositary Shares Series U each representing one Non-Cumulative Dollar Preference Share, Series U

 

New York Stock Exchange*

Dollar Perpetual Regulatory Tier 1 Securities

 

New York Stock Exchange

5.625% Senior Notes due 2020

 

New York Stock Exchange

6.125% Senior Notes due 2021

 

New York Stock Exchange

6.125% Subordinated Tier 2 Notes due 2022

 

New York Stock Exchange

6.000% Subordinated Tier 2 Notes due 2023

 

New York Stock Exchange

6.100% Subordinated Tier 2 Notes due 2023

 

New York Stock Exchange

3.875% Senior Notes due 2023

 

New York Stock Exchange

3.498% Fixed Rate / Floating Rate Senior Notes due 2023

 

New York Stock Exchange

4.519% Fixed Rate / Floating Rate Senior Notes due 2024

 

New York Stock Exchange

5.076% Fixed Rate / Floating Rate Senior Notes due 2030

 

New York Stock Exchange

Senior Floating Rate Notes due 2023

 

New York Stock Exchange

Senior Floating Rate Notes due 2024

 

New York Stock Exchange

5.125% Subordinated Tier 2 Notes due 2024

 

New York Stock Exchange

4.892% Fixed Rate / Floating Rate Senior Notes due 2029

 

New York Stock Exchange

Leveraged CPI Linked Securities due January 13, 2020

 

NYSE MKT

 

 


*                 Not for trading, but only in connection with the registration of American Depositary Shares representing such ordinary shares or non-cumulative dollar preference shares, as applicable, pursuant to the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 


 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

 

None


 

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:

 

Perpetual Subordinated Contingent Convertible Additional Tier 1 Capital Notes callable 2020   Irish Stock Exchange

Perpetual Subordinated Contingent Convertible Additional Tier 1 Capital Notes callable 2021   Irish Stock Exchange

Perpetual Subordinated Contingent Convertible Additional Tier 1 Capital Notes callable 2025   Irish Stock Exchange

 


 

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of December 31, 2018, the close of the period covered by the annual report:

 

(Title of each class)

 

(Number of outstanding shares)

Ordinary shares of £1 each

11% cumulative preference shares

5½% cumulative preference shares

Non-cumulative dollar preference shares, Series U

 

12,048,605,298

500,000

400,000

10,130

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

 

x  Yes      o  No

 

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

 

o  Yes      x  No

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 

x  Yes      o  No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).

 

x  Yes      o  No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

x Large accelerated filer 

o Accelerated filer 

o Non-accelerated filer 

o Emerging growth company 

 

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

 

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

 

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

o  U.S. GAAP

 

x  International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board

 

o  Other

 

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.

 

o  Item 17       o  Item 18

 

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

 

o  Yes      x  No

 


 

SEC Form 20-F cross reference guide

 

Item

 

 

Item Caption

 

Pages

PART I

 

 

 

 

1

 

Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers

 

Not applicable

2

 

Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

 

Not applicable

3

 

Key Information

Selected financial data

Capitalisation and indebtedness

Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds

Risk factors

 

 

38-45, 180-185, 251-262

Not applicable

Not applicable

31-33, 265-275

4

 

Information on the Company

History and development of the Company

Business overview

Organisational structure

Property, plant and equipment

 

 

7-10, 30, 36, 97-99, 113, 186-187, 197, 223, 232, 286

1-37, 40, 97-99, 104-119, 198, 277

25, 34, 36-37, 117, Exhibit 8.1

13-14, 34, 187, 229

4a

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

Not applicable

5

 

Operating and Financial Review and Prospects

Operating results

Liquidity and capital resources

Research and development, patents, licences etc

Trend information

Off-balance sheet arrangements

Tabular disclosure of contractual obligations

 

1-30, 36-58, 163-176

5-11, 21-33, 167-168, 192-202, 239

30, 38-39, 109-122, 165, 180-185, 207-209, 218-222, 225-226, 241

Not applicable

1-34, 36-37

114, 123, 233-239

119-122, 229, 233

6

 

Directors, Senior Management and Employees

Directors and senior management

Compensation

Board practices

Employees

Share ownership

 

 

35, 59-60, 99

80-94, 199-203, 240

35, 59-73, 99

16-18, 97-98, 183

81-91, 186, 194

7

 

Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions

Major shareholders

Related party transactions

Interests of experts and counsel

 

 

99, 276, 279

240

Not applicable

8

 

Financial Information

Consolidated statements and other financial information

Significant changes

 

 

36-58, 180-186

2, 8, 36, 61,

9

 

The Offer and Listing

Offer and listing details

Plan of distribution

Markets

Selling shareholders

Dilution

Expenses of the issue

 

 

99, 227-228, 281

Not applicable

95-96, 281-282

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

10

 

Additional information

Share capital

Memorandum and articles of association

Material contracts

Exchange controls

Taxation

Dividends and paying agents

Statement of experts

Documents on display

Subsidiary information

 

 

Not applicable

285-292

279

285

283-285

Not applicable

Not applicable

292

Not applicable

11

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure about Market Risk

 

107, 112, 117, 123-171. 163-172, 207-220, 251-262

12

 

Description of Securities other than Equity Securities

 

264

 


 

PART II

 

 

 

 

13

 

Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies

 

Not applicable

14

 

Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds

 

Not applicable

15

 

Controls and Procedures

 

31, 33, 35, 66-72, 95, 178-179, Exhibits 12.1 and 12.2

16

 

[Reserved]

 

 

16a

 

Audit Committee financial expert

 

66

16b

 

Code of ethics

 

18-20, 97-98, 276

16c

 

Principal Accountant Fees and services

 

68, 203

16d

 

Exemptions from the Listing Standards

 

Not applicable

16e

 

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

 

Not applicable

16f

 

Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant

 

Not applicable

16g

 

Corporate Governance

 

35, 59-64, 98-100

16h

 

Mine Safety Disclosure

 

Not applicable

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

17

 

Financial Statements

 

Not applicable

18

 

Financial Statements

 

178-249

19

 

Exhibits

 

294-295

 


 

Forward-looking statements

 

 

 

 

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

Certain sections in this document contain ‘forward-looking statements’ as that term is defined in the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, such as statements that include the words ‘expect’, ‘estimate’, ‘project’, ‘anticipate’, ‘commit’, ‘believe’, ‘should’, ‘intend’, ‘plan’, ‘could’, ‘probability’, ‘risk’, ‘Value-at-Risk (VaR)’, ‘target’, ‘goal’, ‘objective’, ‘may’, ‘endeavour’, ‘outlook’, ‘optimistic’, ‘prospects’ and similar expressions or variations on these expressions.

 

In particular, this document includes forward-looking statements relating, but not limited to: future profitability and performance, including financial performance targets such as return on tangible equity; cost savings and targets, including cost:income ratios; litigation and government and regulatory investigations, including the timing and financial and other impacts thereof; the implementation of the Alternative Remedies Package; the continuation of the Group’s balance sheet reduction programme, including the reduction of risk-weighted assets (RWAs) and the timing thereof; capital and strategic plans and targets; capital, liquidity and leverage ratios and requirements, including CET1 Ratio, RWA equivalents (RWAe), Pillar 2 and other regulatory buffer requirements, minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities, and other funding plans; funding and credit risk profile; capitalisation; portfolios; net interest margin; customer loan and income growth; the level and extent of future impairments and write-downs, including with respect to goodwill; restructuring and remediation costs and charges; the Group’s exposure to political risk, economic risk, climate change risk, operational risk, conduct risk, cyber and IT risk and credit rating risk and to various types of market risks, including interest rate risk, foreign exchange rate risk and commodity and equity price risk; customer experience including our Net Promotor Score (NPS); employee engagement and gender balance in leadership positions.

 

Limitations inherent to forward-looking statements

These statements are based on current plans, estimates, targets and projections, and are subject to significant inherent risks, uncertainties and other factors, both external and relating to the Group’s strategy or operations, which may result in the Group being unable to achieve the current targets, predictions, expectations and other anticipated outcomes expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition, certain of these disclosures are dependent on choices relying on key model characteristics and assumptions and are subject to various limitations, including assumptions and estimates made by management. By their nature, certain of these disclosures are only estimates and, as a result, actual future gains and losses could differ materially from those that have been estimated. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date we make them and we expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

 

Important factors that could affect the actual outcome of the forward-looking statements

We caution you that a large number of important factors could adversely affect our results or our ability to implement our strategy, cause us to fail to meet our targets, predictions, expectations and other anticipated outcomes or affect the accuracy of forward-looking statements we describe in this document, including in the risk factors and other uncertainties set out in the document and other risk factors and uncertainties discussed in this document. These include the significant risks for the Group presented by: operational and IT resilience risk (including in respect of: the Group being subject to cyberattacks; operational risks inherent in the Group’s business; the Group’s operations being highly dependent on its IT systems; the Group relying on attracting, retaining and developing senior management and skilled personnel and maintaining good employee relations; the Group’s risk management framework; and reputational risk), economic and political risk (including in respect of: the uncertainties surrounding the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union; increased political and economic risks and uncertainty in the UK and global markets; climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy; HM Treasury’s ownership of RBSG and the possibility that it may exert a significant degree of influence over the Group; continued low interest rates and changes in foreign currency exchange rates), financial resilience risk (including in respect of: the Group’s ability to meet targets and make discretionary capital distributions to shareholders; the highly competitive markets in which the Group operates; deterioration in borrower and counterparty credit quality;  the ability of the Group to meet prudential regulatory requirements for capital and MREL, or to manage its capital effectively; the ability of the Group to access adequate sources of liquidity and funding; changes in the credit ratings of RBSG, any of its subsidiaries or any of its respective debt securities; the Group’s ability to meet requirements of regulatory stress tests; possible losses or the requirement to maintain higher levels of capital as a result of limitations or failure of various models; sensitivity of the Group’s financial statements to underlying accounting policies, judgements, assumptions and estimates; changes in applicable accounting policies or rules; the value or effectiveness of any credit protection purchased by the Group; the level and extent of future impairments and write-downs, including with respect to goodwill; and the application of UK statutory stabilisation or resolution powers) and legal, regulatory and conduct risk (including in respect of: the Group’s businesses being subject to substantial regulation and oversight; legal, regulatory and governmental actions and investigations; the replacement of LIBOR, EURIBOR and other benchmark rates; heightened regulatory and governmental scrutiny (including by competition authorities); implementation of the Alternative Remedies Package and the costs related thereto; and changes in tax legislation).

 

The forward-looking statements contained in this document speak only as at the date hereof, and the Group does not assume or undertake any obligation or responsibility to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

 

The information, statements and opinions contained in this document do not constitute a public offer under any applicable legislation or an offer to sell or solicit of any offer to buy any securities or financial instruments or any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities or other financial instruments.

 

1


 

Presentation of information

 

 

 

 

In this document, and unless specified otherwise, the term ‘company’ or ‘RBSG’ means The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, ‘RBS’, ‘RBS  Group’ or the ‘Group’ means the company and its subsidiaries, ‘the Royal Bank’ or ‘RBS plc’ means The Royal Bank of Scotland plc; ‘NWH Ltd’ means NatWest Holdings Limited; and ‘NatWest’ means National Westminster Bank Plc.

 

The company publishes its financial statements in pounds sterling (‘£’ or ‘sterling’). The abbreviations ‘£m’ and ‘£bn’ represent millions and thousands of millions of pounds sterling, respectively, and references to ‘pence’ represent pence in the United Kingdom (‘UK’). Reference to ‘dollars’ or ‘$’ are to United States of America (‘US’) dollars. The abbreviations ‘$m’ and ‘$bn’ represent millions and thousands of millions of dollars, respectively, and references to ‘cents’ represent cents in the US. The abbreviation ‘’ represents the ‘euro’, and the abbreviations ‘m’ and ‘bn’ represent millions and thousands of millions of euros, respectively.

 

Any information contained on websites linked or reports referenced in this annual report on Form 20-F is for information only and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.

 

Non-GAAP financial information

RBS prepares its financial statements in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB which constitutes a body of generally accepted accounting principles (‘GAAP’). This document contains a number of non-GAAP (or non-IFRS) financial measures. A non-GAAP financial measure is defined as one that measures historical or future financial performance, financial position or cash flows but which excludes or includes amounts that would not be so adjusted in the most comparable GAAP measure.

 

The non-GAAP financial measures used in this document generally exclude certain items which management believe are not representative of the underlying performance of the business and which distort period-on-period comparison. These measures are used internally by management, in conjunction with IFRS financial measures, to measure performance and make decisions regarding the future direction of the business. Management believes these non-GAAP financial measures, when provided in combination with reported IFRS results, provide helpful supplementary information for investors. These non-GAAP financial measures are not a substitute for, and should be read in conjunction with, reported IFRS financial measures.

 

The main non-GAAP measures used in this document include:

·                  Performance, funding and credit metrics such as ‘return on tangible equity’, and related RWA equivalents incorporating the effect of capital deductions (RWAes), total assets excluding derivatives (funded assets), net interest margin (NIM) adjusted for items designated at fair value through profit or loss (non-statutory NIM), operating expenses analysis, and cost:income ratio and loan:deposit ratio. These are internal metrics used to measure business performance; and

·                  Personal & Business Banking (PBB) franchise results, combining the reportable segments of UK Personal & Business Banking (UK PBB) and Ulster Bank RoI, and Commercial & Private Banking (CPB) franchise results, combining the reportable segments of Commercial Banking and Private Banking, which are presented to provide investors with a summary of the Group’s business performance.

·                  The Commercial Banking, Private Banking, RBS International and NatWest Markets operating segment period on period comparison is impacted by a number of business transfers executed in preparation for ring-fencing.  Commentary on the movements in the period for these segments has been adjusted for these items and reconciliation notes are provided.

·                  The Group also presents a pro forma CET1 ratio which is on an adjusted basis. This has not been prepared in accordance with Regulation S-X and should be read in conjunction with the notes provided, as well as the section “Forward-looking statements” on page 1 of this document.

 

Key operating indicators

This document includes a number of operational metrics which management believes may be helpful to investors in understanding the Group’s business, including the Group’s position against its own targets. These metrics include performance, funding and credit metrics such as ‘return on tangible equity’ and related RWA equivalents incorporating the effect of capital deductions (RWAes), total assets excluding derivatives (funded assets) and net interest margin (NIM) adjusted for items designated at fair value through profit or loss (non-statutory NIM), cost:income ratio, and loan:deposit ratio. These are internal metrics used to measure business performance.

 

Capital and liquidity measures

Certain liquidity and capital measures and ratios are presented in this document as management believes they are helpful for investors’ understanding of the liquidity and capital profile of the business and the Group’s position against its own targets and applicable regulatory requirements. Some of these measures are used by management for risk management purposes and may not be required to be disclosed by a government, governmental authority or self-regulatory organisation. As a result, the basis of calculation of these measures may not be the same as that used by the Group’s peers. These capital and liquidity measures and ratios include: the liquidity coverage ratio, stressed outflow coverage and net stable funding ratio.

 

Recent developments

Update on NatWest Markets transfer scheme

In anticipation of the UK's departure from the European Union on 29 March 2019, the RBS Group has been making its Dutch subsidiary, NatWest Markets N.V., operationally ready to serve NatWest Markets Plc customers who are incorporated or located in the European Economic Area (“EEA”). On 22 February 2019 the Court of Session in Scotland approved the RBS Group's petition for an order under Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 for the replication of master trade documentation for non-UK EEA customers and the transfer of certain existing transactions of EEA customers from NatWest Markets Plc to NatWest Markets N.V. (the Scheme).  The effective dates of the Scheme will now be as follows:

(i) 22 March 2019 - for Phase 1 of the Scheme, where master documentation with NatWest Markets Plc will be replicated with NatWest Markets N.V.; and

(ii) a date between 23 March and 31 December 2019 - for Phase 2 of the Scheme, which will transfer certain existing transactions for some EEA customers (as at the Phase 2 Effective Date) from NatWest Markets Plc to NatWest Markets N.V. The flexibility of Phase 2 is designed to take advantage of any transitional period or other possible outcomes of the Brexit negotiations. NatWest Markets Plc and NatWest Markets N.V. will provide non-UK EEA customers with ten business days’ notice.

 

2


 

We are a financial services company, providing a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial, large corporate and institutional customers.

 

Our purpose is to serve customers well. We are building a safe, simple and customer-focused bank. To do so we are doing business in a way that aligns with our values and considers the longer-term impacts of our decisions and actions. Underpinning that ambition is our blueprint for lasting success.

 

 

Assurance

 

 

The scope of work performed by the Group’s independent auditor as part of their review of other information included in the 2018 Annual Report and Accounts is described in the Independent auditor’s report to the members of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc on pages 178 to 179. In addition, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc appointed Ernst & Young LLP to provide limited independent assurance over selected sustainability content marked with (*) within the Strategic Report, as at and for the period ended 31 December 2018. The assurance engagement was planned and performed in accordance with the International Standard for Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 Revised, Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information. An opinion was issued and is available on rbs.com. This opinion includes details of the scope, respective responsibilities, work performed, limitations and conclusions.

 

Further information on environmental, social, employee and human rights matters is available on the Sustainable Banking webpages on rbs.com.

 

 

 

Why go online?

 

 

Many shareholders are now benefitting from more accessible information and helping the environment too. If you haven’t already tried it, visit our online Annual Report.

 

rbs.com/annualreport

 

3


 

Strategic Report

 

 

 

 

 

An overview of our business performance, including our external operating environment and how we are building a more sustainable bank.

 

 

2018 highlights

5

 

Chairman’s statement

7

 

Chief Executive’s review

9

 

Our operating environment

11

 

Building a more sustainable bank

15

 

Our business performance

25

 

Our investment case and outlook

29

 

Risk overview

31

 

Governance at a glance

35

 

Business Review  

 

The financial performance of our business and our operating segments.

 

 

Governance  

 

A detailed review of our corporate governance and remuneration, including the Report of the directors and annual report on remuneration.

 

 

Capital and risk management

 

Disclosures on our capital, liquidity and funding position and a detailed overview of the management of key risks relating to our business operations.

 

 

Financial Statements

 

Our audited financial statements and related notes, including our Independent auditor’s report.

 

 

Risk Factors

 

A description of certain risk factors that could adversely affect our future results, financial condition and prospects and cause them to be materially different.

 

 

 

Approval of Strategic Report

 

 

The Strategic Report for the year ended 31 December 2018 set out on pages 4 to 36 was approved by the Board of directors on 14 February 2019.

 

By order of the Board.

 

Company Secretary

Aileen Taylor

14 February 2019

 

Chairman
Howard Davies

Executive directors
Ross McEwan
Katie Murray

Non-executive directors
Frank Dangeard
Alison Davis
Patrick Flynn
Morten Friis
Robert Gillespie
Brendan Nelson
Baroness Noakes
Mike Rogers Mark
Seligman Dr Lena
Wilson

 

4


 

2018 Highlights

 

How we have performed on Our Priorities

 

 

 

Note:

(1)              Based on end-point Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) Tier 1 capital and leverage exposure under the CRR Delegated Act.

(2)              Return on tangible equity is calculated using profit for the period attributable to ordinary shareholders.

 

5


 

 

6


 

 

In 2018 the bank delivered a good financial performance, despite an uncertain economic outlook and a highly competitive environment. Paying a dividend for the first time in a decade showed continued progress in building a stronger, safer bank that is capable of delivering improving returns for shareholders.

 

A pre-tax operating profit of £3.4 billion and an attributable profit of £1.6 billion represent a more consistent financial performance, following a return to profitability in 2017. We achieved that improvement through stable income generation - despite the low interest rate environment – as well as by reducing operating costs and de-risking the balance sheet further.

 

With the bank financially stronger and the largest legacy issues resolved, the Board and Management Team are focused on delivering a more consistent and improved level of customer service across all areas. Customers’ expectations of all service providers are high and the range of competitors in the market using diverse delivery mechanisms is as wide as it has ever been.

 

Shareholder returns and privatisation

Our stronger financial position has enabled us to provide clarity on how we intend to return excess capital to shareholders. We believe that to sustain a sound bank of this kind we need a strong capital base. We paid our first ordinary dividend in a decade of 2 pence per share at our 2018 interim results. We are pleased to announce that, subject to shareholder approval being obtained at the 2019 Annual General Meeting, we will pay a final dividend of 3.5 pence per share and a special dividend of 7.5 pence per share. Together this will mean over £1.6 billion in capital returns to shareholders for the Financial Year 2018. We expect to maintain ordinary dividends of around 40% of attributable profit.

 

The bank received approval from shareholders on 6 February to buyback shares - equivalent to 4.99% of the Group’s issued share capital - from HM Treasury. Any buyback of these shares will be at the discretion of HM Treasury, however this approval provides another mechanism to return excess capital to shareholders in an efficient way.

 

The journey towards a return to private ownership continues and further progress was made in 2018. In June, the government undertook a further sell down of its majority stake in the bank, selling 925 million shares, raising total proceeds of £2.5 billion, and reducing its stake to 62.3%. In addition, the Chancellor indicated in the Autumn Budget that the UK government plans fully to exit its ownership of RBS by 2024.

 

Brexit and the economy

The Brexit process continues and we have planned for a range of scenarios associated with exiting the European Union. We have put in place plans that will enable us to continue to serve our customers in continental Europe. We have our Dutch Banking entity in Amsterdam and we are in the final stages of seeking approval for two branches in Frankfurt, which we expect to be operationally ready if required, to support among other things the continued clearing of euro payments. These actions are prudent given the uncertainty and will allow us to serve our large corporate customers in Western Europe while we wait for clarity on the terms of the deal.

 

In the UK, we are seeing large corporate customers delay investment decisions until they have more detail on the outcome of the Brexit process. As one of the largest commercial lenders in the UK we recognise our responsibility to provide support at a highly uncertain time.

 

As a predominantly UK and RoI focused bank, our performance and lending growth will broadly reflect those economies. UK economic growth remained behind its long term average in 2018. While the inflationary pressure induced by sterling’s depreciation post the EU referendum subsided, consumer confidence remains muted. It remains to be seen what fiscal and monetary policy levers the Bank of England will pull in the event of an economic downturn, but lower interest rates for longer would affect the bank’s ability to deliver significant income growth.

 

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Progress on resolving our legacy issues

The bank resolved its remaining major legacy issues in 2018. We settled the US Department of Justice investigations into our historic (pre-2007) activities in the US RMBS market in August 2018. While settling this long-running issue was welcome, the £3.6 billion settlement was a stark reminder of how in the past this bank failed to put the interests of customers first.

 

We have seen good progress on the revised scheme to satisfy our remaining State Aid obligations. In 2017, Her Majesty’s Treasury agreed with the European Commission a two part scheme comprising of a Capability & Innovation Fund, and an incentivised transfer of some of our Small and Medium sized Enterprise customers who were due to move to Williams & Glyn. We welcome the progress that the independent body Banking Competition Remedies Ltd has made and are operationally ready to fully support the switching scheme and impacted customers at its launch.

 

Ring-fence regulation

In 2018, we continued to reshape the bank in response to UK ring-fencing legislation. This involved transferring 4.5 million customers between different legal entities. In July, we reached a key milestone when the Scottish Court approved the bank’s request to transfer the customers who were affected by a change in legal entity. We also introduced some significant changes to the way our Boards operate to comply with regulatory requirements. We met the PRA deadline on 1 January 2019 and are fully ring-fence compliant. This has been a complex project and I am pleased it has been undertaken with minimal impact on customers.

 

Building a more sustainable bank and community engagement

We are aware of our responsibilities to the communities we serve, given the central role we play in the economy. In 2018 we provided £30.4 billion in gross new lending to UK homeowners and supported over £100 billion of lending to UK businesses, as we helped our customer continue to grow.

 

Our volunteering and fundraising partnerships continue to make a difference for the communities we serve. In 2018, our employees supported a wide variety of charities raising £4.4 million through their giving and fundraising efforts. Our flagship financial education programme, MoneySense, met its annual targets. Since 2015, we have reached 1.8 million young people and RBS employees have supported 59,000 in-school workshops.

 

Last year, we witnessed a growing focus on climate change from regulators and investors. In 2017, the bank publicly committed its support of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) - a voluntary set of guidelines encouraging consistent climate-related disclosures in annual reporting. We have now committed a further £10 billion to the Sustainable Energy sector by 2020. This will include continued financing of low carbon generation as well as energy efficiency projects, such as in the real estate sector, and alternative fuelled vehicles.

 

Shareholders

We have continued to engage actively with our shareholders. A resolution to establish a formal Shareholder Committee was requisitioned by a group of shareholders at our AGM in 2018. It did not receive approval, in part, we believe, because we have made efforts to engage with shareholders large and small. Our investor relations efforts are highly rated. Our Sustainable Banking Committee has met a wide range of stakeholders for a number of years. Last year we held retail shareholder events in Glasgow and Birmingham. The events gave shareholders the opportunity to meet with our Board and ask questions on performance and strategy. Feedback was positive and we plan to hold more events in 2019.

 

Diversity and inclusion

In 2014, we set ourselves a target to have at least 30% of roles in the three most senior levels of each of our businesses filled by women by 2020. In 2018, on aggregate across the bank, this representation stands at 37%. We also are aspiring to achieve full gender balance at all levels of our business by 2030.

 

We are focused on becoming a more ethnically diverse organisation, to reflect the communities in which we operate. We introduced formal UK targets in 2017 to improve the proportion of non-white colleagues in our top 4 leadership layers, to at least 14% by 2025, and are already making good progress against this, with 8% representation.

 

Board changes

We were pleased to welcome Patrick Flynn to the Board on 1 June 2018. Patrick’s appointment further strengthens our overall board composition and supports succession planning. Brendan Nelson will step down as Chairman of the Group Audit Committee with effect from 31 March 2019 at which time Patrick will assume the role of Chairman of the Group Audit Committee. Brendan has indicated that he will not stand for re-election at the 2019 Annual General Meeting. I’d like to thank Brendan for his significant contribution since joining the Board as a Non-Executive Director in 2010. The Board and the wider organisation have benefited from his extensive knowledge and experience and his presence will be greatly missed.

 

Penny Hughes resigned as a non- executive director on 30 May and Ewen Stevenson resigned as Chief Financial Officer and Director on 30 September. I would like to thank Penny and Ewen for all their hard work and dedication to RBS.

 

As a result of Ewen’s resignation we appointed Katie Murray as Chief Financial Officer, effective from 1 January 2019. Katie brings nearly 30 years of finance and accounting experience in capital management, investor relations and financial planning to the role. She has already contributed significantly to RBS over the last three years.

 

Conclusion

Overall, the Board is pleased with the bank’s performance in 2018 during a period of significant uncertainty in the macroeconomic environment. We dealt with our last major outstanding legacy issue, reduced our cost base, delivered lending growth in a tough operating environment and paid our first dividend in a decade. We still have more work to do to reach our 2020 ambitions, but we continue to make good progress on improving returns for shareholders and delivering better service for customers.

 

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2018 was a year of strong progress on our strategy - we settled our remaining major legacy issues, paid our first dividend in ten years and delivered another full year bottom line profit. However, while our financial performance is more assured, we know that a significant gap remains to achieving our ambition to be the best bank for customers. We are fully focused on closing this gap.

 

Today we are reporting a pre-tax operating profit of £3.4 billion and a bottom line attributable profit of £1.6 billion for 2018. In addition, we are pleased to propose a full year ordinary dividend of 3.5 pence per share, and a special dividend of 7.5 pence per share. These are in addition to the ordinary dividend we paid at our interim results. Together, we will have returned £1.6 billion to shareholders, and around £1 billion to the UK taxpayer in dividends. We also have shareholder approval to participate in a directed buyback should the government seek to dispose of a portion of its shares.

 

The UK economy faces a heightened level of uncertainty related to the ongoing Brexit negotiations. We have continued to support our customers, providing £30.4 billion in gross new UK mortgage lending in 2018, and Commercial Banking made or renewed commitments of around £30 billion of term lending facilities to mainly UK businesses. Our Commercial and Business Banking businesses supported total lending of more than £100 billion in 2018.

 

We have also committed an additional £2 billion to our Growth Fund to support British business, taking the total fund to £3 billion. This fund is helping businesses manage their supply chains in what is a very uncertain time. These actions help maintain our position as the largest supporter of UK business.

 

A good financial performance in uncertain economic conditions

Our financial performance is good, given the uncertain economic outlook. In 2018, we continued to take costs out of the business and reduced operating expenses by £278 million. This means that we have now reduced operating costs by more than £4 billion in five years.

 

Our long-term target remains to reach a cost to income ratio of below 50%, however we note that as an industry we are required to carry additional costs to deal with Brexit and the ongoing operational obligations of ring- fencing. Given the continued low rate environment and highly competitive mortgage market, coupled with the uncertainty in the economy, income remains under pressure. We continue to focus on cost reduction to ensure we are preparing our business for the future and to meet our customers and shareholders needs.

 

In 2019, we are committing to reducing our operating costs by c.£300 million. Our consistent delivery on cost targets in recent years gives me the confidence we will achieve this.

 

Our strategic plan has served us well and we will continue to focus on our five key priorities, as set out below, as we strive to become the UK and Republic of Ireland’s best bank for customers.

 

Strength and Sustainability

The bank’s financial strength is much improved. Our Common Equity Tier 1 ratio has increased from 8.6% at the end of 2013 to 16.2% at the end of 2018. This progress helped us to obtain a clear pass in the 2018 Bank of England stress test - a very important milestone. Alongside our financial strength we have continued to build greater resilience into our systems, helping to protect our customers who are at greater risk of fraud and scams more than ever before. We are the first and only UK bank to partner with National Trading Standards on their Friends Against Scams initiative. More than 31,000 colleagues completed the training in 2018 and we have committed to training a million customers by 2020.

 

Customer Experience

While our financial performance is more assured, we know that a significant gap remains to achieving our ambition to be the best bank for customers. We are very aware that we need to deliver

 

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better service, more consistently. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) results, which now provide the public with a ranking of banks’ performance for customers, bring this into sharp focus. With the large major legacy issues behind us, we are putting all of our focus into improving our customer experience.

 

We are investing in innovation, with £1 billion committed to invest in 2019 aimed at improving legacy systems and delivering better solutions for customers. We continue to develop our mobile app which for NatWest now scores +41 for customer advocacy.

Our Commercial Bank, the UK’s largest supporter of business, remains ahead of the rest of the market for customer advocacy and in Coutts we have a market leading private banking brand.

 

Customers want and need to do their banking quickly and safely. When we help them to do this, and combine it with expert advice, we see advocacy scores increase. That is how we are focusing the business, and we are confident the changes we are making will deliver a consistently higher quality of service.

 

Simplifying the Bank

We are a simpler bank, but we can’t yet call ourselves simple to deal with. While we are now more efficient with a lower cost base, as we have shrunk in size, many of our processes are still too difficult for our customers to deal with, and are frustrating for our colleagues as they try to serve our customers.

Whether it is booking travel, watching a film or shopping online, customers now expect a fast and reliable service. Banking is no different from any other customer focused industry, and we are responding to those changes in customer behaviour.

 

Our first digital lending journey for Commercial Banking customers is now live. The new platform allows existing customers to apply digitally for secured and unsecured loans up to £750,000, subject to eligibility criteria. Customers are able to complete their loan application in a matter of minutes, and usually get a decision in principle within 24 hours. We have simplified and streamlined the customer experience, giving our customers a rapid response, all the while supported by the vast industry knowledge and insight of our Relationship Managers.

 

We are also embracing artificial intelligence (AI), which is helping us lower our cost base and deliver a 24/7 customer experience . Take Cora for instance –our AI Chat Bot which we launched in partnership with IBM Watson - she now handles an average of 83,000 queries a week. Given the success in the personal business, we have recently rolled out Cora to Commercial Banking.

 

Supporting sustainable growth

Supporting our customers’ ambitions is a key part of our role in society. We have focused on growing lending in our target markets. Gross mortgage lending in UK Personal and Business Banking increased £1.5 billion in 2018, and we helped around 45,000 customers buy their first home. Our support doesn’t only extend to lending, we now have 12 NatWest accelerators. These hubs make up the UK’s largest fully-funded business accelerator network, capable of supporting up to 1,000 entrepreneurs.

 

NatWest Markets continued to support large corporate customers with a range of financing needs in 2018. Our FX team was voted number one for customer satisfaction in the 2017 Greenwich Associates FX Survey and we helped clients raise £312 billion on the debt capital markets.

 

Employee engagement

The turnaround of the bank would not have been possible without the hard work and determination of our colleagues. Over the last four years we have seen a significant reduction in the number of roles across the bank, as a result of divestment and restructuring aligned to our strategy. Despite this activity, colleague engagement is at its highest level since we started measuring in 2002. The independent Banking Standards Board report on culture also showed improvements in every category. Of course, there is always more we can do, and we have set stretching targets as we strive to become a more diverse and inclusive organisation.

 

Innovating and investing to improve customer service

We have taken a dual approach to innovation by transforming our core banking services and delivering new products and services outside of traditional banking. In 2018, we continued to invest in our existing infrastructure, improving system resilience and migrating to latest in cloud technologies. Last year we experienced 19 Criticality 1 Incidents, compared to 318 four years ago.

 

Our customers continued to migrate to our mobile app during 2018. In UK PBB we now have 6.4 million regular mobile customers, 16% higher than 2017.

Today close to three quarters of active current account customers in UK PBB are regular digital users. Sales through our digital channels in UK PBB are up 19% on last year and now represent almost half of all product sales. Four years ago this figure would have been 26%.

 

At the same time we are trying new things outside our core banking services. We are piloting Bó and Mettle as two standalone digital banks. Bó is our digital personal bank targeted at helping people to manage their money better. Mettle is our digital bank for business customers.

 

We are learning a lot from these innovations and applying our findings back into the core bank.

 

These innovations complement the wider eco-systems that we want to build around key customer experiences – be it buying a home, or running a business. Building or acquiring complementary services to the core banking services we already offer in these areas will allow us to deepen our relationships with customers, and ultimately grow revenue.

 

2019, a year of focusing forward

In 2019, we will focus forward, into a rapidly changing market. We have set annual goals for 2019 based around our five priorities in order to keep up momentum on the delivery of our strategic plan. There are two areas in particular that we need to focus on – customer experience and simplifying the bank. This year we aim to spend £1 billion on upgrading legacy infrastructure, improving systems, processes and delivering new innovations which will improve our customers’ experience. We will simplify the bank further in 2019, given this we have set a operating cost reduction target of c.£300 million for 2019, and continue to strive for a sub 50% cost to income ratio.

 

We have made good progress on making RBS a much simpler, safer and more customer focused bank. From a position of capital strength, we will aim to improve returns for you, our shareholders.

 

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Our operating environment

 

Key economic indicators

 

 

 

UK GDP grew by 1.4% in 2018, down from a 1.8% rise in 2017. Weaker business investment has been a contributing factor. Between Q3 2018 and Q4 2018, business investment fell by 1.4%, the fourth consecutive quarterly decline, meaning investment was 3.7% lower in Q4 2018 compared with a year previously. Business borrowing increased slightly towards the end of 2018, with loans to non-financial companies up 2.6% in the year to December 2018, compared with 2.1% at the end of 2017. However, within that, it was larger firms who were primarily responsible for the growth in lending (up 4% in the year to December 2018). In comparison, SMEs loan growth was 0.1% year on year. Annual inflation hovered just above the Monetary Policy Committee’s target in December 2018, at 2.1%.

 

 

The labour market remained strong with employment rising further to a new record 32.5 million in the three months to November 2018 compared to 32.2 million for the three months to November 2017. This helped push unemployment down to 4.0% in the three months of November 2018, compared to 4.4% at the end of 2017. Pay growth rose to 3.4% in the three months to November 2018 and vacancies reached new highs. The Bank of England’s mounting concerns that the pace of activity is exceeding the potential growth rate of the UK economy prompted a rise in the Bank Rate to 0.75% in August 2018, the second increase since November 2017. However, the Bank of England signalled it expects UK economic growth to slow again in 2019 and therefore envisages any further tightening to be gradual and limited, contingent on the nature of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

 

 

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12


 

Key influences in our operating environment

 

 

 

 

The environment in which we operate influences our ability to serve customers and create value for the long term.

 

Every year we assess the importance and materiality of external influences both in terms of their relevance to our stakeholders (including customers, investors, policy makers, bank representatives and topic specialists) and their potential commercial impact on the bank.

 

In 2018 the key influences review involved interviews with internal and external stakeholders and a cross-bank workshop.

 

The results help evaluate our performance in the context of wider societal issues, inform the bank’s future strategy and stakeholder engagement.

 

For more on our key influences process refer to the Sustainable Banking pages on rbs.com

 

 

 

13


 

Understanding the key influences in our operating environment

 

 

 

 

Shorter term considerations

 

UK productivity & economic growth

The UK economy continued to grow in 2018, albeit below its long-term trend. RBS’s performance is strongly tied to the economic performance of the UK economy. With the short and long-term outlook for the UK and global economy remaining uncertain, RBS recognises its role in supporting productivity and economic growth.

 

 

Political landscape

Political risks continue to evolve with uncertainties related to Brexit.

 

 

Generating sustained returns

To generate sustained returns to its stakeholders, RBS needs to have a robust business model with a well- managed cost base that adapts and responds to changing socio-economic and environmental factors.

 

 

Technology & innovation

Digital maturity is seen as critical to the future success of RBS as the banking sector goes through a period of rapid technological change. Together with digital innovation and ongoing efforts to reduce costs, there is potential for significant disruption to traditional banking business models.

 

 

Changing customer expectations

Customers’ lives are following less predictable paths. RBS needs to continue helping customers with new ways to bank while meeting personalised service expectations and catering to a broad range of lifestyles and differing levels of digital and financial understanding.

 

 

Competition

Regulators continue to encourage competition in the banking sector, with January 2018 seeing the arrival of Open Banking and Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). To respond to growing competitive pressures, RBS will need to continue to improve the bank’s products and services in order to increase market share.

 

 

Reputation & trust

A significant level of trust is required to ensure RBS is sustainable for the long term. Continued efforts to restore trust and safeguard reputation remain a key focus area.

 

 

Conduct & litigation

Although RBS has resolved the majority of legacy conduct issues and litigation costs are falling, the focus remains on putting in place and maintaining measures to prevent future issues related to conduct.

 

 

Cyber security

With the increasing possibility of significant scale attacks resulting in data breaches and ultimately, damaging consumer trust, RBS must continue to build on a multi-layered approach to cyber security and continue to take part in industry-wide initiatives to monitor and anticipate developments.

 

 

Operational resilience

2018 has seen heightened media coverage on the operational competency of UK banks, including data breaches and technology failures. To provide continuity of service for customers with minimal disruption, RBS must continue to monitor and assess a diverse array of threats, both external and internal, as well as developing, strengthening or adapting existing control capability to be able to absorb and adapt to such disruptions.

 

 

Banking regulation

RBS continues to operate in an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Regulatory and legislative focus is broadening from banking regulation to include non-banking specific regulation, for example relating to artificial intelligence and climate change.

 

 

Longer term considerations

 

Inclusion & diversity

Building a more inclusive RBS is essential for our customers and colleagues. We will only achieve our ambition to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy if we understand the needs of all of our people and our customers.

 

 

Culture, engagement & wellbeing

A healthy culture and engagement are critical drivers for overall performance and wellbeing, underpinning the bank’s long-term success.

 

 

Skills, capabilities & reward

RBS faces competition for skilled people. Recruiting, developing and retaining talent remains a key priority.

 

 

Climate and sustainable finance

As the scientific evidence on climate change becomes even clearer, RBS needs to further embed climate risk in its existing risk management framework and proactively assist its customers and clients with the transition to a low carbon economy.

 

 

Financial capability

Against a backdrop of increased focus on debt, fraud and customers in vulnerable situations, RBS has a key role to play in supporting customers to use our various banking channels and manage money well on a day to day basis, through significant life events and during periods of financial difficulty.

 

 

Social inequality & financial exclusion

Squeezed incomes, the “gig economy” and rising cost of living means many UK consumers find themselves in precarious financial situations. Access to mainstream financial services coupled with a lack of digital footprint and skills remains a concern across a number of stakeholders.

 

 

Housing

Housing is a major expense for most people and in many parts of the UK there are concerns about the affordability, standard and availability of housing. RBS is a major mortgage provider and also lends to the housing and construction sectors.

 

 

 

Where to find out more

 

 

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Creating a Healthy Culture

Building a healthy culture is one of our core priorities. We have clear cultural goals to reinforce Our Values and set ourselves cultural priorities each year, regularly engaging our management. We gather feedback from our colleagues through our listening strategy, and through metrics and key performance indicators to assess our progress and respond accordingly.

We do this along with feedback from regulators and industry bodies.

Almost 60,000, 80%, of our colleagues completed our most recent opinion survey, the highest participation in the last five years. The results were the most positive we have seen since we started measuring engagement in 2002 and showed we are changing the culture of the bank for the better. Key measures of engagement, leadership and our culture have improved significantly, and we are now above the global financial services norm in all of our comparable survey categories. The results are encouraging, and show that our hard work is paying off. However, we recognise that we have more to do to continue to nurture this culture, and we encourage colleagues to tell us what they think via the bi-annual colleague survey and our regular comments boards. When colleagues wish to report concerns relating to wrong doing or misconduct one of the ways in which they can do this is by raising their concerns via Speak Up, our whistleblowing service.

Our opinion survey has shown the highest ever score when asking colleagues if they feel safe to speak up, as well as understanding the process of how they do that. In 2018, 480 cases were raised compared to 290 in 2017.

 

Performance and Reward

Our approach to performance management provides clarity for our employees about how their contribution links to our ambition and all our employees have goals set across a balanced scorecard of measures. Further progress has been made in making sure employees are paid fairly for the work they do and are supported by simple and transparent pay structures. We simplified our Value Account construct, making it easier for our employees to understand the value of their fixed pay and to bring it more in line with industry best practices. We are confident that we pay our employees fairly. We keep our HR policies and processes under review to ensure we do so. In the UK, our rates of pay continue to exceed the Living Wage and we ensure people performing the same roles are paid fairly and consistently. More information on our remuneration policies can be found in the 2018 Directors Remuneration Report in the 2018 Annual Report and Account’s.

 

Developing Skills and Capabilities

We have launched the NextGen talent development programme for high potential colleagues at managerial level, helping them become the future leaders we need. The learning opportunities available through the programme align to the bank’s Critical People Capabilities. There are five people capabilities that we have identified that will help build the right knowledge, skills and behaviours and help the bank to be successful now and in the future. We have developed a Capability Checker to support our colleagues in identifying the capabilities most relevant to their current and future roles, aligning learning to those capabilities.

 

Our Female Development Programmes focus on supporting women to reach their full potential and manage their careers effectively. They support our aspiration to be fully gender balanced by 2030.

 

Sales Excellence is our complete bank-wide sales programme.

It teaches the tools and techniques that enable those in sales roles to be the best at ethical, needs-based selling. It covers both core and advanced techniques that help to uncover the full financial needs and goals of customers and present compelling options on the ways we can help. Over 60% of the appropriate colleagues have already completed a Sales Knowledge Assessment level 1 and training for all front line sales colleagues, sales specialists and sales leaders is underway.

 

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Health and Wellbeing

As a strong component of making RBS a great place to work, wellbeing initiatives have successfully delivered against three pillars; Physical, Mental and Social with the final fourth pillar, Financial Wellbeing well established and continuing to build momentum.

Our internal wellbeing index has increased by 3% taking us 1% above other high performing norm companies. We continue to embrace the rapid acceleration of digital wellbeing by offering our colleagues online and on-site wellbeing tools and resources. This year we’ve seen over 20,000 onsite health checks completed across a number of our keyhubs. We continue to support the Time to Change pledge and this year launched our new wellbeing campaign Live Well, Being You. Our month long wellbeing campaign in May 2018 focused on each of our four pillars with a specific focus on Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day in October 2018. In 2018 we again supported our colleagues through change and have fully utilised the services of our Employee Assistance Programme.

 

 

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2018 Gender profile (*)

 

Grade

#Women

#Men

%Women

CEO – 1

7

9

44

CEO – 2

37

72

34

CEO – 3

243

412

37

CEO – 4

1438

1760

45

Target population (CEO – 3 and above)

287

493

37

 

Note: We report to reflect our organisational (CEO) levels. This method more accurately describes our gender balance at leadership/pipeline levels. As well as being more reflective of our organisational structure, this enables comparison to be made externally.

 

 

Male

Female

Executive Employees

76 (75%)

26 (25%)

Directors of Subsidiaries

220 (80%)

54 (20%)

 

There were 376 senior managers (in accordance with the definition contained within the relevant Companies Act legislation), which comprises our executive population and individuals who are directors of our subsidiaries.

 

 

Human rights and Modern Slavery Act

At RBS we are committed to our responsibilities to respect and uphold human rights across our business and sphere of influence. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) forms part of our approach to human rights.

Our second statement is available on our corporate website alongside our Human Rights Position Statement. Our approach covers our customers, our people and our suppliers.

 

Our Customers

Our relationship with our customers is governed by a wide range of risk considerations, including our Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Environmental, Social, and Ethical (ESE) risk assessments on current and new customers, to consider whether any of their activities carry human rights infringements.

 

Our People

All of our people are legally recruited subject to local jurisdiction and in the UK must meet 1998 Immigration Act requirements.

The bank also has policies and processes such as ‘Our Code’, the ‘Yes Check’ and ‘Speak Up’ and is an early adopter of the Living Wage to support the banks position on Modern Slavery.

 

Our Suppliers

In 2018 we updated and enhanced our Sustainable Procurement Code, now referred to as the Supplier Code of Conduct (SCoC) (available on rbs.com). The SCoC continues to be a contractual requirement - we expect our suppliers to uphold the same values and commitments we have made on social and environmental impacts.

 

 

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Our Values

 

 

Doing the right thing

 

                 We do the right thing.

 

                 We take risk seriously and manage it prudently.

 

                 We prize fairness and diversity and exercise judgement with thought and integrity.

 

Thinking long term

 

                 We know we succeed only when our customers and communities succeed.

 

                 We do business in an open, direct and sustainable way.

 

 

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Working together

 

                 We care for each other and work best as one team.

 

                 We bring the best of ourselves to work and support one another to realise our potential.

 

Serving customers

 

                 We exist to serve customers.

 

                 We earn their trust by focusing on their needs and delivering excellent service.

 

 

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Measuring Customer Advocacy

 

 

We track customer advocacy for our key brands using the net-promoter score (NPS), a commonly used metric in banking and other industries across the world. This is measured through independent customer surveys in which customers are asked how likely they would be to recommend their bank to a friend or colleague, on a scale of 0-10, with a score of 10 being ‘extremely likely’ and 0 being ‘extremely unlikely’.

 

Our Performance

 

 

We are aware that there is a significant gap to achieving our ambition to be No. 1 for customer service, trust and advocacy. Colleagues across the bank are fully focused on delivering a more consistent service which is right first time. In addition, our digital innovations continue to attract strong customer advocacy, proof that when we get the product and service proposition right, our NPS improves.

 

Latest Scores

 

 

Our brands are our main connection with customers. Each takes a clear and differentiated position with the aim of helping us strengthen our relationship with them. For this reason we measure customer advocacy by brand.

 

Personal Banking

 

 

Improvements in customer service have been offset by branch closures which have reduced customer advocacy.

This has been most keenly felt for the Royal Bank of Scotland whose reputation continues to be impacted by legacy issues.

 

 

NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland data sourced from Ipsos MORI FRS using 6 month rolling data. Latest base sizes: 3,111 for NatWest (England & Wales); 421 for Royal Bank of Scotland (Scotland). Based on the question: “How likely is it that you would recommend (brand) to a relative, friend or colleague in the next 12 months for current account banking?” Base: Claimed main banked current account customers. Ulster Bank data sourced from Coyne Research using 12 month rolling data. Question: “Please indicate to what extent you would be likely to recommend (brand) to your friends or family using a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 is not at all likely and 10 is extremely likely”. Latest base sizes: 274 Northern Ireland; 297 Republic of Ireland.

 

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Business Banking

 

 

Business Banking continues to be affected by operating model charges. Our Business Banking customers have also been heavily impacted by branch closures.

 

 

Source: Charterhouse Research Business Banking Survey, YE Q4 2018. Based on interviews with businesses with an annual turnover up to £2 million. Latest base sizes: 1134 for NatWest (England & Wales), 455 for Royal Bank of Scotland (Scotland). Question: “How likely would you be to recommend (bank)”. Base: Claimed main bank. Data weighted by region and turnover to be representative of businesses in Great Britain.

 

 

 

 

Commercial Banking

 

 

Our Commercial Banking NPS has fallen recently, however it remains ahead of the rest of the market. Our NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland brands are ahead of the rest of their respective markets.

 

 

Source: Charterhouse Research Business Banking Survey, YE Q4 2018. Based on interviews with businesses with an annual turnover over £2 million. Latest base sizes: 558 for NatWest (England & Wales), 103 for Royal Bank of Scotland (Scotland). Question: “How likely would you be to recommend (bank)”. Base: Claimed main bank.

Data weighted by region and turnover to be representative of businesses in Great Britain.

 

 

 

 

Trust

 

 

We measure Trust by asking customers “how much do you trust the bank to do the right thing?” Scores for NatWest have fluctuated during 2018 and, over the last five years, have improved in line with the market. Trust in the Royal Bank of Scotland has also improved over the last five years, but legacy issues are still in customers’ memories and it remains the least trusted bank in the sector.

 

 

Source: Populus. Latest quarter’s data. Measured as a net % of those that trust RBS/NatWest to do the right thing, less those that do not. Latest base sizes: 891 for NatWest (England & Wales), 215 for Royal Bank of Scotland (Scotland).

 

22


 

How we create value

 

 

Our long term success is dependent on serving our customers well and generating value for society through our products, services and facilities.

 

 

23


 

 

24


 

 

25


 

UK Personal & Business Banking

 

 

 

 

We are focused on serving customers brilliantly. This means treating customers fairly, offering them flexibility in how they choose to bank with us and offering extra help to vulnerable customers and those in financial difficulty. It also means keeping their funds safe and secure, improving financial capability, and supporting them in the moments that matter.

 

Despite a highly uncertain economic outlook, and a continued low interest rate environment, we delivered an operating profit of £2,458 million in 2018 as we delivered an operating expense reduction of £347 million in 2018, or 9% compared with 2017.

 

Gross new mortgage lending in 2018 was £30.4 billion, giving a market share of 11.3% and supporting stock share of around 10%. In achieving this, the business has maintained a prudent approach to risk and pricing, in a very competitive market.

 

We were the first bank to launch a paperless mortgage process with customers continuing to embrace the simplicity and ease of our market leading innovation. Approximately half of all mortgage applications in Q4 2018 were paperless. As a proactive bank we are using automation and technology to simplify and streamline our key customer journeys. We are also continuing to invest in roles such as Community Banker and TechXperts to help customers get the most from our award-winning digital services including our mobile banking app which now has 6.4 million regular users and was awarded ‘Best Banking App’ at the British Banking Awards in 2018.

 

We have the third largest branch network across the UK. 99.7% of the UK population live within 15 minutes of a branch, a mobile-van stop or a Post Office location and our fleet of 41 mobile vans serve more than 600 communities each week. We are also proud to have the most professional workforce of any bank in the UK, with over 13,000 colleagues achieving their Professional Banker Certificate.

 

 

Ulster Bank RoI

 

 

 

 

We are focused on our strategic ambition to become the number one bank in the Republic of Ireland for customer service, trust and advocacy. We have continued to deliver on growth in new lending, building lasting relationships with customers and on digital and technological innovation that creates benefits for customers and operational efficiency.

 

Operating profit was £12 million (15 million) compared with a loss of £132 million (151 million) in 2017. Total income was £610 million (689 million) compared with £604 million (689 million) in 2017, and operating expenses decreased by £93 million, or 13.8% ( 115 million, or 14.9% in euro terms). Net loans reduced by £0.7 million (1.0 billion) principally reflecting the successful sale of a portfolio of non-performing loans of £0.5 million (0.6 billion) which contributed to a reduction in the non-performing loan ratio from 16.7% in 2017 to 11.3% in 2018.

 

The ‘Help for what matters’ initiative and ‘First Five’ mortgage campaign continued to support lending growth in 2018. New mortgage lending increased by 14% to £1.02 million, or 13% to 1.13 billion in euro terms, compared to 2017, supported by a positive uptake on the market leading two, four and seven year fixed rate products.

 

We have continued to strengthen our digital proposition in 2018 through enhancements to digital and mobile customer offerings. 69% of our active personal current account customers are choosing to bank with us through digital channels. We introduced a faster, more convenient and secure digital application experience for customers applying for current accounts and personal loans and made further enhancements to the mobile app during the year. Mobile payments and transfers increased 36% on prior year, reflecting the continued customer migration from physical to digital channels.

 

26


 

Commercial Banking

 

 

 

In our position as the largest UK commercial bank(1), with professional relationship management at our core and a strong regional network, we provide deep sector and business insight to help UK businesses and the UK economy succeed. This commitment and support has generated market-leading customer advocacy. In 2018, within total utilised lending of around £90 billion, we either made or renewed commitments for around £30 billion of term lending facilities, of which £18 billion utilised as at 31 December 2018, to our mainly UK-based customers. Additionally at Q3 2018, we provided a further £2 billion of growth funding to help British businesses prepare for the Brexit transition, bringing the total commitment to £3 billion.

 

Operating profit(2) was £1,358 million compared with £944 million in 2017. Total income(2) was £3,374 million (2017 – £3,238million) and operating expenses(2) decreased by £132 million, or 6.6%, reflecting continued operating model simplification and efficiencies.

 

In the year, we made £10.5 billion RWA reductions through active capital management activity, leading also to lower impairment loss rates.

 

Customer banking preferences continue to evolve and we are working hard to anticipate and respond. Approximately 85% of customers now interact with us digitally and we have developed solutions they value. We successfully launched our Bankline Mobile in the Apple app store, while our lending journey now enables customers to apply digitally for loans of up to £750,000 through a self-service application process.

 

This is the largest value offered by a UK commercial bank, giving customers rapid, digital access to funding decisions, with around 50% of loan applications given a decision in principle in under 24 hours.

 

Notes:

(1) Market share includes personal bank accounts used as business accounts; includes NatWest, RBS & W&G; Source Charterhouse Business Banking Survey, Q4 2018. Commercial £2m+ in GB. Sample size 3,075; sample size excluding don’t knows: NatWest (598); Royal Bank of Scotland (271). Question: “How likely would you be to recommend (bank)”. Base: Claimed main bank. Data weighted by region and turnover to be representative of businesses in Great Britain.

 

(2) Comparisons with prior periods are impacted by transfers in preparation for ring-fencing. The net impact of these transfers on 2017 operating profit would have been to reduce income by £246 million, operating expenses by £10 million and impairments by £72 million. The variances in the commentary have been adjusted for the impact of these transfers.

 

 

Private Banking

 

 

 

 

Through the Coutts and Adam & Company brands, our business provides private banking and wealth management services to UK connected high net worth clients with domestic and international needs. Coutts is recognised as one of the leading private banks, wealth and investment managers in the UK with a 325 year history. A strategy of providing a personal approach to private banking and wealth management, combined with outstanding brand recognition, drove strong customer volumes in 2018.

 

Operating profit was £303 million compared with £152 million in 2017. Total income(1) was £775 million (2017 – £702 million) and operating expenses(1) decreased by £66 million, or 12.1%, as we continued to focus on front-to-back simplification and the digitalisation of key processes. Net lending growth was £0.9 billion, or 6.7%, compared with 2017. Assets under management have decreased by £1.0 billion, or 4.8%, reflecting negative market movements partially offset by new business inflows of £0.6 billion.

 

We continue to shift from a physical to a digital client offering as we deliver more innovative solutions. Approximately 60% of clients bank with us digitally, and 94% of clients positively rate our Coutts24 telephony service. We also recently launched Coutts Connect, a social platform which allows clients to network and build working relationships between one another.

 

We gained further external recognition for our investment management performance having won two Gold awards at the Portfolio Advisor Wealth Manager (PAM) awards in 2018.

 

Note:

(1) Comparisons with prior periods are impacted by the transfers in preparation for ring-fencing.

The net impact of the transfers on 2017 would have been to increase income by £24 million and increase operating expenses by £15 million. The net impact on the 2017 balance sheet would have been to reduce net loans to customers by £0.1 billion and assets under management by £0.7 billion. The variances in the commentary have been adjusted for the impact of these transfers.

 

27


 

RBS International

 

 

 

We are one of the largest banks operating in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Gibraltar and in 2017 established new wholesale branches in Luxembourg and London. In line with the wider Group we are focused on serving customers well and becoming a bank that is simpler and easier to deal with.

 

During 2018, we repositioned our balance sheet so that excess funds were no longer up streamed to RBS. Instead some funds have been deployed into funding customer assets in our new London branch which looks after long-standing alternative investment fund customers who could not remain inside the UK ring- fence. We have also established a liquidity portfolio across central and correspondent banks and sovereign bond holdings.

 

These changes preserve value for the banking group, provide continuity for our customers and support compliance with incoming Basel III Liquidity Coverage Ratio rules.

 

Operating profit was £336 million compared with £304 million in 2017. Total income(1) was £594 million (2017 – £540 million), the increase largely driven by deposit margin benefits. Operating expenses (1) increased by £27 million, or 11.6%, primarily due to £39 million higher back-office costs associated with becoming a non ring- fenced bank. Net loans to customers were £13.2 billion and gross new mortgage lending in 2018 was £0.3 billion compared with £0.5 billion in 2017.

 

Our mobile app has been further developed to include new functionality, allowing customers to manage their finances more effectively and we have 23% more users compared with 2017 with NPS at +59.

 

71% of wholesale customer payments are now processed using our newly introduced international banking platform, making the payments process simpler for customers.

 

We transformed our retail branches in each of our jurisdictions to include self service automation terminals giving customers more options in how they bank with us and in 2018 we helped our customers buy over 1000 new homes.

 

2018 was a very successful year for community investment activities across all of our jurisdictions due to the commitment and generosity of our colleagues who supported our Do Good Feel Good Campaign.

 

Note:

(1) Comparisons with prior periods are impacted by the transfers in relation to ring-fencing. The net impact of the transfers on 2017 would have increased income by £151 million and increase operating expenses by £14 million. The net impact on the 2017 balance sheet would have been to increase net loans to customers by £4.5 billion. The variances in the commentary have been adjusted for the impact of these transfers.

 

 

NatWest Markets

 

 

 

 

We continue to put customers at the centre of the way we do business and have focused on the core products and markets where we have a strong track record, longstanding relationships and market leading positions.

 

An operating loss of £70 million compared with a loss of £977 million in 2017. Total income(1) increased by £288 million, or 25.0%, primarily reflecting lower disposal losses in the legacy business and a £165 million indemnity insurance recovery, partially offset by lower income in the core business. The reduction in the core business was driven by challenging fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) market conditions in Q4 2018, together with turbulence in European bond markets earlier in the year.

 

Operating expenses decreased by £595 million, or 27.1%. This reflects reductions in other expenses(1) across both the core and legacy businesses, down £313 million to £1,213 million, lower strategic costs, down £198 million to £238 million, and reduced litigation and conduct costs, down £84 million to £153 million.

 

NatWest Markets is increasingly using technology to enhance the way it provides innovative financial solutions to its customers and partners. For example, FXmicropay makes it simpler for businesses operating globally to accept payments in multiple currencies, reducing costs and increasing revenues for our customers. Our success in harnessing technology has been recognised with the award for Best in Service Globally among Corporates for Algorithmic trading in the 2018 Euromoney FX Survey.

 

Awards and rankings

·              Sterling Bond House of the Year 2018 (Source:International Financing Review (IFR))

·              #1 for Overall Service Quality for UK Corporate (Source: 2017 Greenwich Associates FX Survey)

·              Tied #1 for Rates* Service Quality – UK FIs (* Government Bonds and Interest Rate Derivative Investors) (Source: Greenwich Associates, European Fixed Income 2018 – Rates).

 

Notes:

(1) Comparisons with 2017 are impacted by the transfer of business activities in preparation for ring-fencing. The net impact of the transfers would have been to increase total income by £104 million in 2017 and reduce operating expenses by £2 million in 2017. The commentary has been adjusted for the impact of these transfers.

 

(2) The NatWest Markets operating segment should not be assumed to be the same as the NatWest Markets Plc legal entity or group.

 

 

28


 

 

Notes:

 

(1)    The targets, expectations and trends discussed in this section represent RBSG management’s current expectations and are subject to change, including as a result of the factors described in the “Risk Factors” section on pages 265 to 278 of the 2018 Annual Report on Form 20-F. These statements constitute forward-looking statements; refer to Forward-looking statements in this document.

(2)    Return on tangible equity is calculated using profit for the period attributable to ordinary shareholders.

(3)    c.14% at the end of 2021, previous target stated as >13%.

 

29


 

Outlook(1)

 

 

 

 

RBS, like all companies, continues to deal with a range of significant risks and uncertainties in the external economic, political and regulatory environment. Our central economic forecast, which supports our corporate plan, is in line with consensus as at the end of December 2018 and shows average UK GDP growth of around 1.0-2.0% from 2019 to 2023 and continued low interest rates. Given the current uncertainties we will continue to actively monitor and react to market conditions.

 

2019 Outlook

As part of our continued cost savings plans, we expect to incur aggregate strategic costs of around £2.5 billion across 2018 and 2019, with £1.0 billion of this having been incurred during 2018. We plan to reduce operating expenses, excluding strategic costs and conduct and litigation costs, by £300 million in 2019 compared with 2018, excluding one-off items.

 

2018 saw a continuation of the period of benign economic conditions with low defaults and strong cash recoveries.

However, the potential impact on the real economy of ongoing political uncertainties and geopolitical tensions could affect our credit loss outcome. As a result, impairments are expected to increase in 2019 but remain below our through-the-cycle loss rate assumption of 30-40 basis points.

 

The threat from single name and sector driven events remains.

 

We expect to end 2019 with risk weighted assets (RWAs) of around £185 – 190 billion as the RWAs associated with Alawwal Bank are expected to reduce by around £5 billion, subject to regulatory approvals relating to the merger and our shareholding.

 

RBS Group (RBSG) capital and funding plans focus on issuing £3-5 billion of MREL-compliant instruments and around £1 billion of Tier 2 instruments. We do not plan to issue AT1 in 2019.

 

As in prior years, we will continue to target other funding sources to diversify our funding structure, including senior secured issuance of £2-3 billion from NatWest Bank. NatWest Markets Plc, as a standalone bank, plans to issue £3-5 billion of term senior unsecured instruments.

 

Medium term outlook

While we remain comfortable with our 2020 target of a return on tangible equity of more than 12%, we recognise our 2020 target of a cost:income ratio of less than 50% is increasingly challenging for the business to achieve with the risk being to the downside. This reflects the ongoing economic and political uncertainty and the additional ongoing costs associated with ring- fencing and Brexit.

 

Our previous guidance on RWAs beyond 2020 was an estimated 10% increase in 2021 relating to Basel 3 amendments, in addition to RWA inflation as a result of IFRS 16, which requires lease obligations to be brought on balance sheet, of £1.3 billion in 2019 and Bank of England mortgage floors of £10.5 billion in 2020. We now expect the overall impact of Basel 3 amendments to be in the range of 5-10% and phased across 2021 to 2023, with the details still subject to significant regulatory uncertainty.

 

RBS Group capital distributions

We propose a 3.5 pence final ordinary dividend and a 7.5 pence special dividend for the 2018 financial year, while maintaining a CET1 ratio of 16.2% as at 31 December 2018.

 

Pro-forma for the introduction of IFRS16 - Leases, the CET1 ratio was 16.0%, with the c.20 basis points reduction reflecting a £1.3 billion increase in RWAs and £0.3 billion charge against reserves.

 

We expect to maintain ordinary dividends of around 40% of attributable profit. We have updated our medium term guidance of CET1 to be approximately 14% at the end of 2021.

 

We have shareholder and regulatory approval to carry out directed buybacks of the UK government stake in RBS, but recognise that any exercise of this authority would be dependant upon HMT’s intentions and is limited to 4.99% of issued share capital in any 12 month period. As a reminder, we have also committed to make further pre tax contributions to the pension scheme of up to £1.5 billion in aggregate from 1 January 2020 linked to future distributions to RBS shareholders.

 

NatWest Markets (NWM)

The NWM franchise includes NWM Plc and NWM N.V., both of which are currently direct subsidiaries of RBSG. RBS has previously announced its intention for NWM N.V. to become a subsidiary of NWM Plc following the completion of the sale of the consortium holding in Alawwal. As such, NWM Plc’s financial reporting does not currently include NWM N.V.

 

NWM Plc is regulated and discloses capital ratios and RWAs on a standalone bank basis and is targeting by 2020 a CET1 ratio of circa 15%, MREL ratio of at least 30% and a leverage ratio of at least 4%.

 

We plan to transfer our Western Europe corporate business into NWM N.V. from the ring-fenced bank, in addition to the NWM business that is expected to be part of a FSMA Part VII Transfer Scheme from NWM Plc to NWM N.V., subject to court approval and as announced on 6 December 2018. NWM Plc legal entity RWAs are expected to be around £35 billion, NWM N.V. RWAs are expected to be around £8 billion with the consolidated NWM franchise position, excluding RWAs related to intercompany positions, expected to be around £39 billion by 2020.

 

 

 

Note:

 

(1)    The targets, expectations and trends discussed in this section represent RBSG management’s current expectations and are subject to change, including as a result of the factors described in the “Risk Factors” section on pages 265 to 278 of the 2018 Annual Report on Form 20-F. These statements constitute forward-looking statements; refer to Forward-looking statements in this document.

 

30


 

Risk overview

 

 

 

 

Prudent risk management is central to the successful delivery of the RBS strategy.

 

RBS operates an integrated framework that facilitates effective risk management. The framework – which is centred around the embedding of a strong risk culture – ensures that the tools are in place to identify and manage both internal and external threats, including top and emerging risks. Risk appetite, which defines the level and types of risk RBS is willing to accept, is set in line with overall strategy and approved by the RBS Group board.

 

An emphasis on prudent risk management has a key role in positioning RBS to prepare for, and respond to, developments in the wider competitive, economic and regulatory environment.

 

All RBS employees share ownership of the way risk is managed.

 

Progress in 2018

RBS continued to reduce risk and strengthen both the balance sheet and the capital position in 2018. While continuing progress against the Group’s strategic objectives, there was also a significant focus on a number of key themes. These included wider economic uncertainty relating to the UK’s exit from the European Union, the accelerating evolution of the technological landscape and regulatory change.

 

The final settlement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in relation to the RBS Group’s issuance and underwriting of US Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) during the period 2005 to 2007 brought to an end a major legacy issue, leading to further improvement of the risk profile.

 

In October 2018, the Federal Reserve Board terminated a Cease & Desist Order originally imposed in December 2013 in relation to historical compliance with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) economic sanctions regulations.

 

The termination recognised RBS’s multi-year programme to establish a robust, sustainable OFAC Sanctions compliance framework. In March 2018, the Federal Reserve Board also terminated a Cease & Desist Order originally imposed in July 2011 in relation to RBS’s US operations.

 

A memorandum of understanding with the Trustees of the Group Pension Fund, to align the scheme with the UK’s ring-fencing rules – and the £2 billion contribution made in October 2018 – significantly reduced the Group’s exposure to pension risk. The contribution to the scheme – which could be followed by up to a further £1.5 billion of dividend- linked contributions – facilitated a reduction in the risk profile of the fund, principally the sale of approximately £6 billion of quoted equity exposure and the purchase of further interest rate and inflation hedging.

 

RBS continued to make progress towards its aim of making risk simply part of the way colleagues work and think. In 2018 the risk culture action plan focused on building clarity, developing capability and embedding a standardised risk culture assessment and reporting approach.

 

There was a continuing emphasis on refining risk appetite during the year. Significant work was done to enhance the approach at both Group and subsidiary levels in advance of compliance with the UK’s ring-fencing rules. Limits and triggers for material risks were reviewed and refined as part of the continuous improvement of the risk appetite framework. Limits and triggers were also set for material subsidiaries.

 

From an operational risk perspective, throughout 2018 there was a continued focus on the control environment, ensuring that RBS maintains a safe and secure approach to doing business.

 

Oversight of the Group’s transformation – to meet the evolving needs of customers as well as to address the changing economic, regulatory and technology landscapes – was further enhanced in order to effectively align with the innovation agenda.

 

Continuity of service for customers also remained a key area of focus. A number of activities aimed at minimising the impact of disruptive events – such as system outages – on overall service were undertaken.

These included preventative measures, control improvements and work to calibrate limits or triggers for the most critical processes. RBS continues to monitor and assess a diverse array of threats – both external and internal – as well as developing, strengthening or adapting existing control capability to protect continuity of service.

 

Brexit

RBS maintained a consistent focus on risks arising as a result of uncertainties related to the UK’s planned exit from the European Union. Oversight of planning for regulatory and legislative impacts – as well as economic impacts – remained a critical part of forward- looking risk management throughout the year. This included stress testing and scenario modelling as well as capital planning. In view of continued uncertainty, RBS is implementing plans to ensure continuity of service for its customers in the event of an immediate loss of access to the European Single Market. This includes finalising a third-country licence for the Frankfurt branch of its National Westminster Bank subsidiary to allow for continued clearing of euro- denominated payments.

 

While the longer-term effects on the operating environment of the UK’s exit are difficult to predict, consideration has also been given to the potential second and third order effects on the Group and its customers, including planning for the results of periodic financial volatility and slower economic growth.

 

31


 

Cyber Security

RBS has a multi-layered defence approach to cyber security and continues to invest in its defences as the external threat evolves. In 2018, RBS continued to take part in industry-wide initiatives to monitor and anticipate developments, identify vulnerabilities and share best practice.

 

Financial crime

The financial crime threat continues to evolve in line with changes in technology, the economy and wider society. As risks relating to money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion, sanctions, bribery and corruption develop, understanding and responding to them appropriately remains a key area of focus.

In 2018, RBS continued its journey of improvement in relation to the policies, processes and systems used to combat financial crime. RBS also maintained an emphasis on ensuring proportionate, risk-focused customer due diligence standards were in place, particularly for higher-risk customer segments. In addition, improvements to the financial crime control environment remained a key focus in accordance with the evolving nature of the risk.

 

RBS is committed to ensuring it acts responsibly and ethically, both when pursuing its own business opportunities and when awarding business. Consequently it has embedded appropriate policies, mandatory procedures and controls to ensure its employees, and any other parties it does business with, understand these obligations and abide by them, whenever they act for RBS. Anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) training is mandatory for all staff on an annual basis, with targeted training appropriate for certain roles. RBS considers ABC risk in its business processes including, but not limited to, corporate donations, charitable sponsorships, political activities and commercial sponsorships. Where appropriate, there is a requirement for ABC contract clauses in written agreements.

 

 

Climate risk

The impact of multiple risks relating to climate change continues to be assessed. This includes physical risks – such as those resulting from extreme weather events and a more unstable climate – as well as economic and regulatory risks.

 

In addition, RBS continues to focus on risks arising as a result of government undertakings to limit carbon emissions, which will require adjustments in all sectors of the economy. Though the nature and timing of these transitional risks remain uncertain, RBS classifies climate risk as an emerging threat and is integrating it into core risk management.

 

RBS supports the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures and has established a climate risk working group.

 

LIBOR transition

The UK regulators have reiterated the intention to move from LIBOR to alternative interest-rate benchmarks by the end of 2021. A significant number of transactions across the industry reference LIBOR and, as a result, the transition will be a major undertaking. RBS is conducting risk assessments of the likely impact across each of its franchises and the Risk function will continue to provide oversight as the programme develops.

 

 

 

The factors discussed on page 33 and elsewhere in this report should not be regarded as a complete and comprehensive statement of all potential risks and uncertainties facing RBS. Refer to the Risk Factors section on page 265 to 278.

 

32


 

Top and Emerging Risks(1)

 

 

 

 

RBS employs a continuous process for identifying and managing its top and emerging risks. These are risks that could have a significant negative impact on RBS’s ability to operate or meet its strategic objectives.

 

Operational and IT resilience

Risk

Mitigation

 

- RBS’s information technology systems are complex, making recovery from failure challenging.

- RBS’s information technology systems are critical to the services it provides, with any outages experienced in the banking sector widely publicised. Cyber attacks continue to evolve in frequency, sophistication and severity. There is a risk that a cyber attack damages RBS’s ability to do business and/or compromises data security.

- RBS faces increased operational risk as it makes changes to its structure and operations to reduce its cost base.

- There is a risk that RBS lacks sufficient capability or capacity at a senior level to deliver, or adapt to, change.

- Losses may arise from changes in the RBS business model due to ring-fencing or such as the restructuring of NatWest Markets in light of ring fencing and Brexit.

- A breach in data privacy, either within RBS or in a third-party organisation, may lead to negative impacts. There is a risk that RBS’s data strategy is not adequate for the evolving landscape.

- There is a risk that the actions of a third-party supplier could negatively affect RBS’s reputation or profitability.

 

 

- A major investment programme has improved systems resilience. As RBS continues to simplify and modernise infrastructure and applications, system sustainability has improved.

- A major security programme has delivered control enhancements to mitigate the risk of cyber attack. RBS continues to invest in its defences. RBS monitors people risk closely and has plans in place to support retention of key roles, with wider programmes supporting engagement and training.

- RBS continues to implement change in line with its project plans while assessing the implementation risks and mitigating where possible.

 

Economic and political risk

Risk

Mitigation

 

- RBS remains vulnerable to changes and uncertainty in the economic, political and legal environment. Scenarios that could have a potentially material negative effect on RBS include the impact of the UK’s exit from the European Union; changes in UK government and UK government policy; a second Scottish independence referendum; a UK recession (including significant falls in house prices); global financial volatility, a protracted period of low interest rates in the UK, vulnerabilities in emerging market economies resulting in contagion in RBS’s core markets, a Eurozone crisis or major geopolitical instability.

- Accelerating climate change may lead to faster-than-anticipated climate-related impacts on RBS and the wider economy.

 

 

- RBS has implemented plans to prepare for an immediate loss of access to the European Single Market on 29 March 2019 (a “hard Brexit”).

- RBS uses a range of complementary approaches to inform strategic planning and risk mitigation relating to a range of economic and political risks. These include robust risk assessment and dynamic portfolio management in accordance with the risk appetite framework, the setting of prudent lending criteria and, for specific market risks, structural hedging. Stress testing and scenario planning is also used extensively.

- RBS is working to embed climate risk into its risk framework, and adapting its operation and business strategy to mitigate the risks of both

climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy.

 

Financial resilience

Risk

Mitigation

 

- RBS’s target markets are highly competitive, which poses challenges in terms of achieving some strategic objectives. Moreover, changes in technology, customer behaviour and business models in these markets have accelerated.

 

- RBS continues to innovate – including the development of a number of digital initiatives designed to meet evolving customer needs – and monitor the competitive environment as well as associated regulatory, technological and strategic developments in order to make adjustments as appropriate.

 

Legal regulatory and conduct risk

Risk

Mitigation

 

- RBS expects government and regulatory intervention in the financial services industry to remain high for the foreseeable future, and also subject to increasing regulation in new areas such as financial risks relating to climate change and artificial intelligence.

- RBS has for a number of years been involved in conduct-related reviews and redress projects, including a review of certain historical customer connections in its former Global Restructuring Group (GRG). RBS is likely to remain engaged in the management of GRG-related complaints until at least the end of 2020.

- Implementation of the Alternative Remedies Package (regarding the business previously described as Williams & Glyn) brings a range of risks for RBS including significant costs, loss of customers/deposits and associated execution risks.

- The impacts of past business conduct resulting in future litigation and conduct charges could be substantial. RBS is involved in a number of investigations, including: ongoing class action litigation, investigations into foreign exchange trading and rate-setting activities, continuing LIBOR-related litigation and investigations, into the treatment of small and medium-sized business customers in financial difficulty, anti-money laundering, sanctions, mis-selling (including mis-selling of payment protection insurance products). Settlements may result in additional financial penalties, non-monetary penalties or other consequences, which may be material.

-   The transition from LIBOR and other IBOR rates to alternative risk-free rates may lead

to heightened legal, business and conduct risks.

 

- RBS considers and incorporates the implications of proposed or potential regulatory activities in its strategic and financial plans.

- RBS has dedicated resources in place to manage claims and complaints relating to GRG.

- RBS has invested significant resources to meet the terms of the Alternative Remedies Package and manage the associated risks.

- Building a healthy culture is a core priority. RBS continues to focus on creating a solid platform for behavioural and cultural change.

- In addition, RBS continues to strengthen its control environment and the journey of improvement remains an ongoing area of focus.

- A programme to determine the scale and scope of the impacts relating to the transition to alternative risk-free rates is underway. Activity to manage

the transition will take place within RBS’s control framework and in line with expected standards of

conduct.

 

Note:

 

(1)              The factors discussed in this section and elsewhere in this document should not be regarded as complete and comprehensive statement of all potential risks and uncertainties facing RBS. Please refer to the section “Risk Factors” on pages 265 to 278.

33


 

Climate related financial disclosures

 

 

 

 

Climate change presents both risks and opportunities to our business across our customers, operations and suppliers.

 

The Board has governance oversight on climate via the Sustainable Banking Committee. From 2019 this will be shared with the Board Risk Committee. A Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) has been established with the accountable executive being the Chief Risk Officer. The CCWG is responsible for addressing climate- related regulation, risks, opportunities, metrics and analysis. Membership includes senior representatives from Risk, Sustainable Banking, Corporate Governance, Regulatory Affairs and Legal. Frontline business representatives will join in 2019. The Sustainable Energy Forum (SEF) also co-ordinates products and services that help business and corporate customers to transition to a low carbon economy.

 

As part of our developing strategy to address climate change, we are helping to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy by supporting our customers and integrating climate change into core business decision making. To support this, RBS is currently undertaking climate scenario analysis across our main lending portfolio. Two scenarios are being considered: a ‘Business as Usual’ 3.7°C rise and a ‘Paris Agreement’ 2°C rise. The time frames used for analysis are aligned to RBS strategy: short 0-2 years, medium 3-5 years and long 6-30 years. Both physical and transitional risks are being incorporated. The results of the analysis will inform future strategy and focus areas for more in-depth climate scenario analysis.

 

Climate risk management covers both physical and transitional risks. RBS employs a continuous process for identifying and managing top and emerging risks (refer to page 33), including climate-related risks. The nature and timing of the far-reaching commercial, technological and regulatory changes the low carbon transition will bring are currently uncertain, for our customers and business. The impact of such changes may be disruptive, especially if such changes do not occur in an orderly or timely manner or are ineffective in reducing emissions sufficiently. Whilst these risks are significant and growing, they are not inconsistent with our strategy to be a leading UK-focused banking service provider to personal and business customers. To help manage climate related risks around individual lending decisions, we use sector-specific Environmental, Social and Ethical risk policies (refer to rbs. com). The Power Generation, Mining and Metals, Oil & Gas and Forestry, Fisheries and Agribusiness policies were updated in 2018 in relation to climate-related risks. To help us manage operational risks, we joined RE100, committing to purchase 100% global renewable energy by 2020.

 

RBS uses a range of metrics and targets to assess our climate-related financial impacts, including operational emissions figures, (refer to the table below (*) and rbs.com), volumes of sustainable energy sector financing, and proportion of lending associated with high carbon or high climate risk sectors. Our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are independently verified each year by an external auditor. As at 31 December 2018, our exposure to the Power and Oil & Gas sectors remains at 1.2% of our total lending exposures. The PRA report ‘Transition in Thinking’ highlighted the energy, transport, property (domestic

 

 

and non-domestic) and agriculture sectors as having particular exposure to climate risks and opportunities and these equated to approximately 44% of total RBS exposures in 2018(*). These were calculated using Exposure at Default (EAD).

 

We were recognised by InfraDeals as the leading lender to the UK renewables sector by number of transactions over the past ten years (2008- 2018). Between 2014 and 2018 we reduced our operational greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1, 2 and 3 – Business Travel) by 49%, exceeding our Science Based Target of 45% by 2020.

 

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

2014
(Baseline)

2017

2018

 

 

 

 

Location-based CO2e emissions (Scope 1, 2 & business travel) (tonnes)

496,249

312,731

252,340

Scope 1* CO2e emissions (tonnes)

30,695

25,578

29,959

Scope 2** Market-based*** CO2e emissions (tonnes)

377,337

69,391

57,735

Scope 2 Location-based CO2e emissions (tonnes)

360,201

219,979

166,179

Scope 3**** CO2e emissions from business travel (tonnes)

105,352

67,174

56,203

Location-based CO2e emissions per FTE (Scope 1, 2 & business travel) (tonnes)

5.07

4.08

3.56

Total energy use (GWh)

862

693

619

 

 

 

We have reported on all emission sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013. To our knowledge there are no material omissions. Independent limited assurance of total reported emissions in tonnes of CO2e, (Scope 1*, 2** and 3*** location based emissions) has been provided by Ernst & Young LLP. Our reporting year runs from October 2017 to September 2018. *Scope 1: Emissions from fluorinated gas loss and fuel combustion in RBS premises/vehicles. **Scope 2: Emissions from electricity, district heating and district cooling used in RBS premises. *** market-based emissions have been calculated using the GHG Protocol guidelines. ****Scope 3: Emissions associated with business travel (air, rail and road) by RBS employees.

 

These emissions are calculated using The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard revised edition (2004). The emissions reporting boundary is defined as all entities and facilities either owned or under operational control. Emissions factors used are from UK Government Emissions Conversion Factors for Greenhouse Gas Company Reporting (BEIS,2018), CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion (IEA,2017) or from relevant local authorities as required. For more information please see our website (https://www.rbs.com/rbs/sustainability/ responsible-business/).

 

34


 

Governance at a glance

 

Our Board

 

 

 

 

The Board has thirteen directors comprising the Chairman, two executive directors and ten independent non-executive directors, one of whom is the Senior Independent Director. Biographies for each director can be found on pages 59 and 60.

 

The Board is collectively responsible for the long-term success of RBS and delivery of sustainable shareholder value. Its role is to provide leadership of RBS within a framework of prudent and effective controls which enables risks to be assessed and managed.

 

In 2018, the Board and committee evaluation process was conducted externally by Independent Board Evaluation.

 

Our Board commitees

In order to provide effective oversight and leadership, the Board has established a number of Board committees with particular responsibilities. The work of the Board committees is discussed in their individual reports. The terms of reference for each of these committees is available on rbs.com.

 

The full Governance report is on pages 59 to 100 of the 2018 Annual Report on Form 20-F.

 

Group Audit Committee

Assists the Board in discharging its responsibilities for monitoring the quality of the financial statements of RBS. It reviews the accounting policies, financial reporting and regulatory compliance practices of RBS and RBS’s systems and standards of internal controls, and monitors the work of internal audit and external audit.

 

Group Board Risk Committee Provides oversight and advice to the Board on current and potential future risk exposures of RBS and future risk strategy. It reviews RBS’s compliance with approved risk appetite and oversees the operation of the RBS Policy Framework and submissions to regulators.

 

Group Sustainable Banking Committee

Provides support to the Board in overseeing actions being taken by management to run a sustainable long term business, with specific focus on culture, people, customer, brand and environmental social and ethical issues.

 

Group Performance and Remuneration Committee Responsible for approving remuneration policy and reviewing the effectiveness of its implementation. It also considers senior executive remuneration and makes recommendations to the Board on the remuneration of executive directors.

 

Group Nominations and Governance Committee

Assists the Board in the selection and appointment of directors. It reviews the structure, size and composition of the Board, and the membership and chairmanship of Board committees. It considers succession planning taking into account the skills and expertise which will be needed on the Board in the future. Its remit also includes governance oversight.

 

Technology and Innovation Committee

Assists the Board in overseeing and monitoring the execution of RBS’s strategic direction in relation to technology and innovation.

 

Group Executive Committee

The Board is supported by the Group Executive Committee, comprising the executive directors and the Group Chief Risk Officer. It supports the Chief Executive in managing RBS’s businesses. It is responsible for managing strategic, financial, capital, risk and operational issues affecting RBS. It reviews and debates relevant items before consideration by the Board.

 

 

UK Corporate Governance Code

Throughout the year ended 31 December 2018, RBS has complied with all of the provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code issued by the Financial Reporting Council dated April 2016 except in relation to provision (D.2.2) that the Group Performance and Remuneration Committee should have delegated responsibility for setting remuneration for the Chairman and executive directors. RBS considers that this is a matter which should rightly be reserved for the Board.

 

35


 

 

Page

Presentation of information

36

Financial summary

38

Segment performance

46

 

Presentation of information

 

In the Report and Accounts, unless specified otherwise, the terms ‘company’ and ‘RBSG’ mean The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, ‘RBS’, ‘RBS Group’ and the ‘Group’ mean the company and its subsidiaries; ‘the Royal Bank’ and ‘RBS plc’ mean The Royal Bank of Scotland plc; ‘NWH Ltd’ means NatWest Holdings Limited; ‘NatWest’ means National Westminster Bank Plc and ‘NWM Plc’ means NatWest Markets Plc.

 

The company publishes its financial statements in pounds sterling (‘£’ or ‘sterling’). The abbreviations ‘£m’ and ‘£bn’ represent millions and thousands of millions of pounds sterling, respectively, and references to ‘pence’ represent pence in the United Kingdom (‘UK’). Reference to ‘dollars’ or ‘$’ are to United States of America (‘US’) dollars. The abbreviations ‘$m’ and ‘$bn’ represent millions and thousands of millions of dollars, respectively, and references to ‘cents’ represent cents in the US. The abbreviation ‘€’ represents the ‘euro’, and the abbreviations ‘€m’ and ‘€bn’ represent millions and thousands of millions of euros, respectively.

 

Segmental reporting

RBS continues to deliver on its plan to build a strong, simple and fair bank for both customers and shareholders.

 

Reportable operating segments

The reportable operating segments are as follows. For full business descriptions see Note 4 on page 195.

 

Franchise

Reportable operating segment

Personal & Business Banking (PBB)

UK Personal & Business Banking (UK PBB)

Ulster Bank RoI

Commercial & Private Banking (CPB)

Commercial Banking

Private Banking

Other reportable segments

RBS International (RBSI)

NatWest Markets

Central items & other

 

Allocation of central items

RBS allocates all central costs relating to Services and Functions to the business using appropriate drivers, these are reported as indirect costs in the segmental income statements. Assets (and risk-weighted assets) held centrally, mainly relating to RBS Treasury, are allocated to the business using appropriate drivers.

 

Key operating indicators

RBS prepares its financial statements in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB and as adopted by the European Union, which constitutes a body of generally accepted accounting principles (‘GAAP’). This document contains a number of adjusted or alternative performance measures, also known as non-GAAP financial measures. These measures exclude certain items which management believe are not representative of the underlying performance of the business and which distort period-on-period comparison. These measures include:

 

·          Performance, funding and credit metrics such as ‘return on tangible equity’, and related RWA equivalents incorporating the effect of capital deductions (RWAes), total assets excluding derivatives (funded assets) and net interest margin (NIM) adjusted for items designated as fair value through profit or loss (non-statutory NIM), cost:income ratio, loan:deposit ratio and impairment provision ratios. These are internal metrics used to measure business performance.

 

·          Personal & Business Banking franchise, combining the reportable segments of UK Personal & Business Banking (UK PBB) and Ulster Bank RoI and Commercial & Private Banking (CPB) franchise, combining the reportable segments of Commercial Banking and Private Banking.

 

RBS Group ring-fencing

The UK ring-fencing legislation requires the separation of essential banking services from investment banking services from 1 January 2019. RBS Group has placed the majority of the UK and Western European banking business in ring-fenced banking entities under an intermediate holding company, NatWest Holdings. NatWest Markets Plc (NWM Plc) and RBS International (RBSI) are separate banks outside the ring-fence, both subsidiaries of RBSG. Key activities in 2018 included:

 

·          NatWest Group Holdings Corporation (NWGH) which owns NatWest Markets Securities Inc. (NWMSI) was transferred to NWM Plc (formerly RBS plc). NWGH was previously a direct subsidiary of NatWest.

 

·          The majority of NWM Plc’s (formerly RBS plc) PBB and CPB business, and certain parts of Central items and the NatWest Markets segment to be a part of the ring-fenced bank, were transferred to subsidiaries of NatWest Holdings. The second phase of ring-fencing which related to the transfer, of certain markets products from NatWest to NWM Plc, was completed in the third quarter of 2018.

 

·          On 29 June 2018, the Court of Session in Scotland approved the reduction of capital and the cancellation of the share premium account and capital redemption reserve (together the “capital reduction”) of NWM Plc. As part of the capital reduction, NatWest Holdings transferred to RBSG with effect from 2 July 2018, thereby creating the legal separation of those RBS Group entities that will be within the ring-fenced sub-group from those held outside the ring-fence.

 

·          NatWest Markets N.V. (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland N.V.), the Group’s banking entity in the Netherlands, continues to implement its plan to be operationally ready to serve European Economic Area (EEA) customers [when the UK leaves the European Union on 29 March 2019], in the event that there is a loss of access to the EU Single Market. In October 2018 approval was received from the Dutch regulator (DNB) for the repurposing of the existing NatWest Markets N.V. banking licence. NatWest Markets N.V. is expected to become a subsidiary of NWM Plc in 2019 subject to regulatory approval.

 

36


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Competition

Personal & Business Banking (comprising UK PBB and Ulster Bank RoI)

 

In the personal and small business banking business, the Bank competes with a range of providers including UK banks and building societies, major retailers and life assurance companies, as well as the UK subsidiaries of major international banks. In the mortgage market, the Bank competes with UK banks, building societies and specialist lenders. Increasingly, the ambitions of non-traditional players in the UK market are gaining credibility, with new entrants active and seeking to build their platforms either through organic growth or in some cases by acquiring businesses made available through the restructuring of incumbents. Entrants with new business models such as peer-to-peer lending platforms, while currently small, continue to grow rapidly and are emerging as significant competitors. Such competitors often target specific elements of the value chain, providing specialised services to particular customer segments.

 

RBS distributes life assurance products to banking customers in competition with independent advisors and life assurance companies.

 

In Ireland, Ulster Bank competes in retail and commercial banking with the major Irish banks and building societies, and with other UK and international banks and building societies active in the market.

 

In the UK credit card market large retailers and specialist card issuers are active in addition to the UK banks. In addition to physical distribution channels, providers compete through direct marketing activity and digital channels.

 

In an environment in which central banks have maintained very low interest rates for an unusually long period or introduced negative rates, competitive dynamics have changed in some of the principal markets in which we operate. In this environment an ability to attract and manage funding remains a critical competitive advantage. Other key competitive factors in this market segment include cost management, growing digital sales focus, branch network re-shaping, and product simplification. Cost management remains a key focus in the market, as banks seek to simplify their organisational and IT architectures while at the same time investing to ensure that they can meet customers’ evolving channel preferences. Customers have increasingly focused on the use of internet and mobile as sales and service channels for certain types of products. Therefore, competitive position and performance in the sector increasingly depends on the possession of user-friendly, diverse and efficient online solutions.

 

Although conveniently located branches are still important, RBS faces competitive pressure to adjust its branch formats to meet changing customer expectations and to manage its branch footprint as over-the-counter transaction volumes decline. In terms of product offering, the industry trend is to limit the number of products and present the product structure and costs in a clear and transparent manner.

 

Commercial & Private Banking (comprising Commercial Banking, Private Banking and RBS International)

Competition for corporate and institutional customers in the UK is from UK banks, from specialised global and regional investment banks and from large foreign universal banks that offer combined investment and commercial banking capabilities as well as from new entrants and non-bank challengers. In asset finance and invoice finance, the bank competes with banks and specialist finance providers, both captive and non-captive. In the small business banking market, the bank competes with other UK banks, specialist finance providers and building societies. In all of these areas, entrants with new technology-based business model are also showing rapid growth. RBS International competes with other UK and international banks to offer offshore banking services as well as domestic banking services in the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man. Coutts and Adam & Company compete as private banks with UK clearing and private banks, asset managers and with international private banks. Competition in wealth management remains strong as banks maintain their focus on competing for affluent and high net worth customers.

 

NatWest Markets

NatWest Markets (formerly CIB) focuses on the needs of large corporates operating in the UK and Western Europe as well as global financial institution customers. NatWest Markets provides financing and risk management for these customers, and trades with financial institutions and counterparties for distribution and market making. There are sales and trading operations in London, the US and Singapore and offices in a select number of countries. NatWest Markets therefore competes with large domestic banks, major international banks and a number of investment banks that offer such products in these regions.

 

The Bank’s product proposition is built around our core strengths: supporting customers across currencies, rates and financing. Key competitive factors in this market include the ability to develop automation across flow products as well as delivering value-adding bespoke solutions for our customers.

 

With an evolving regulatory landscape and continued pressure on margins, competition in this market remains strong. Many market participants are also revising their strategy in order to ensure they deliver sustainable returns.

 

37


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Financial summary

RBS’s financial statements are prepared in accordance with IFRS. Selected data under IFRS for each of the last five years is presented below.

 

Summary consolidated income statement

2018 

2017 

2016 

2015 

2014 

£m 

£m 

£m 

£m 

£m 

Net interest income

8,656 

8,987 

8,708 

8,767 

9,258 

Non-interest income

4,746 

4,146 

3,882 

4,156 

5,892 

Total income

13,402 

13,133 

12,590 

12,923 

15,150 

Operating expenses

(9,645)

(10,401)

(16,194)

(16,353)

(13,859)

Profit/(loss) before impairment (losses)/releases

3,757 

2,732 

(3,604)

(3,430)

1,291 

Impairment (losses)/releases

(398)

(493)

(478)

727 

1,352 

Operating profit/(loss) before tax

3,359 

2,239 

(4,082)

(2,703)

2,643 

Tax charge

(1,275)

(824)

(1,166)

(23)

(1,909)

Profit/(loss) from continuing operations

2,084 

1,415 

(5,248)

(2,726)

734 

Profit/(loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax

— 

— 

— 

1,541 

(3,445)

Profit/(loss) for the year

2,084 

1,415 

(5,248)

(1,185)

(2,711)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attributable to:

 

 

 

 

 

Ordinary shareholders

1,622 

752 

(6,955)

(1,979)

(3,470)

Preference shareholders

182 

234 

260 

297 

330 

Dividend access share

— 

— 

1,193 

— 

320 

Paid-in equity holders

288 

394 

244 

88 

49 

Non-controlling interests

(8)

35 

10 

409 

60 

 

2,084 

1,415 

(5,248)

(1,185)

(2,711)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notable items within total income

2018 

2017 

 

 

 

£m

£m

 

 

 

IFRS volatility in Central items & other

(59)

 

 

 

Insurance indemnity

357 

— 

 

 

 

Of which:

 

 

 

 

 

  NatWest Markets

165 

— 

 

 

 

  Central items & other

192 

— 

 

 

 

UK PBB debt sale gain

61 

185 

 

 

 

FX losses in Central items & other

(46)

(183)

 

 

 

Commercial Banking fair value and disposal gain

169 

 

 

 

NatWest Markets legacy business disposal losses

(86)

(712)

 

 

 

Own credit adjustment

92 

(69)

 

 

 

Loss on redemption of own debt

— 

(7)

 

 

 

Strategic disposals

— 

347 

 

 

 

 

488 

(431)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performance key metrics and ratios

2018 

2017 

 

 

 

Return on tangible equity (%)

4.8 

2.2 

 

 

 

Net interest margin (%) (1)

1.98 

2.13 

 

 

 

Average interest earning assets (£m)

436,957 

422,337 

 

 

 

Cost:income ratio (%)

71.7 

79.0 

 

 

 

Earning per share (pence) - basic

13.5p

6.3p

 

 

 

 

Note:

(1)        Net interest margin is net interest income of the banking business as a percentage of interest earning assets (IEA) of the banking business.

 

38


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Financial summary continued

2018 

2017 

2016 

2015 

2014 

Summary consolidated balance sheet

£m 

£m 

£m 

£m 

£m 

Cash and balances at central banks

88,897 

98,337 

74,250 

79,404 

74,872 

Trading assets

75,119 

85,991 

86,660 

103,972 

150,005 

Derivatives

133,349 

160,843 

246,981 

262,514 

353,590 

Settlement balances

2,928 

2,517 

5,526 

4,116 

4,667 

Loans to banks and customers - amortised cost

318,036 

321,633 

320,016 

297,020 

325,954 

Other financial assets

59,485 

51,929 

48,637 

47,004 

38,298 

Other assets

16,421 

16,806 

16,586 

21,378 

103,633 

Total assets

694,235 

738,056 

798,656 

815,408 

1,051,019 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits

384,211 

391,712 

357,173 

338,326 

346,172 

Trading liabilities

72,350 

81,982 

84,536 

92,299 

130,920 

Settlement balances, derivatives, and other financial liabilities

182,230 

200,398 

267,257 

288,023 

402,829 

Other liabilities

8,954 

14,871 

40,286 

42,613 

112,389 

Owners’ equity

45,736 

48,330 

48,609 

53,431 

55,763 

Non-controlling interests

754 

763 

795 

716 

2,946 

Total liabilities and equity

694,235 

738,056 

798,656 

815,408 

1,051,019 

 

 

Other financial data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share information

2018 

2017 

2016 

2015 

2014 

Dividend payout ratio (%)

14.9 

— 

— 

— 

— 

Basic and diluted earnings/(loss) per ordinary share from

 

 

 

 

 

  continuing operations - pence (1)

13.5 

6.3 

(59.5)

(27.7)

0.5 

Share price per ordinary share at year end - £

2.17 

2.78 

2.25 

3.02 

3.94 

Market capitalisation at year end - £bn

26.1 

33.3 

26.6 

35.1 

45.2 

Net asset value per ordinary share - £

3.86 

4.10 

4.18 

4.66 

5.12 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital ratios

 

 

 

 

 

Return on average total assets (2)

0.2%

0.1%

(0.8%)

(0.2%)

(0.3%)

Return on average total equity (3)

3.7%

2.0%

(10.2%)

(2.9%)

(4.6%)

Return on average ordinary shareholders’ equity (4)

4.0%

1.9%

(15.3%)

(4.0%)

(6.5%)

Average total equity as a percentage of average total assets

7.2%

7.0%

6.2%

6.0%

5.8%

Risk asset ratio - Tier 1 (5)

19.2%

19.7%

17.7%

19.1%

13.2%

Risk asset ratio - Total (5)

23.4%

23.9%

22.9%

24.7%

17.1%

 

 

Notes:

(1)       Basic fully diluted earnings per ordinary share in 2018 is 13.4p. There was no diluted impact in any other year.

(2)       Return on average total assets represents profit/(loss) attributable to ordinary shareholders as a percentage of average total assets.

(3)       Return on average total equity represents profit/(loss) attributable to equity owners expressed as a percentage of average shareholder funds.

(4)       Return on average ordinary shareholders’ equity represents profit/(loss) attributable to ordinary shareholders expressed as a percentage of average ordinary shareholders’ equity.

(5)       2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 are calculated on a PRA transitional basis.

 

39


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Financial summary continued

Segmental summary income statements

 

 

PBB

 

CPB

 

 

 

 

 

UK

Ulster Bank

 

Commercial

Private

RBS

NatWest

Central items

Total

 

PBB

RoI

 

Banking

Banking

International

Markets

& other

RBS

2018 

£m 

£m 

 

£m 

£m 

£m 

£m 

£m 

£m 

Net interest income

5,098 

444 

 

2,040 

518 

466 

112 

(22)

8,656 

Non-interest income

1,184 

166 

 

1,334 

257 

128 

1,330 

347 

4,746 

Total income

6,282 

610 

 

3,374 

775 

594 

1,442 

325 

13,402 

Other expenses

(2,991)

(490)

 

(1,725)

(456)

(260)

(1,213)

(224)

(7,359)

Strategic costs

(275)

(22)

 

(106)

(21)

(9)

(238)

(333)

(1,004)

Litigation and conduct costs

(216)

(71)

 

(41)

(1)

(153)

(809)

(1,282)

Operating expenses

(3,482)

(583)

 

(1,872)

(478)

(260)

(1,604)

(1,366)

(9,645)

Impairment (losses)/releases

(342)

(15)

 

(144)

92 

(398)

Operating profit/(loss)

2,458 

12 

 

1,358 

303 

336 

(70)

(1,038)

3,359 

Return on equity (1)

24.3%

0.5%

 

10.2%

15.4%

24.4%

(2.0%)

nm

4.8%

Cost:income ratio (2)

55.4%

95.6%

 

53.8%

61.7%

43.8%

111.2%

nm

71.7%

Third party customer asset rate (3)

3.40%

2.41%

 

2.87%

2.89%

2.15%

nm

nm

nm

Third party customer funding rate

(0.30%)

(0.20%)

 

(0.36%)

(0.25%)

(0.09%)

nm

nm

nm

Average interest earning assets

183,577 

24,834 

 

122,382 

20,547 

27,266 

27,851 

30,500 

436,957 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net interest income

5,130 

421 

 

2,286 

464 

325 

203 

158 

8,987 

Non-interest income

1,347 

183 

 

1,198 

214 

64 

847 

293 

4,146 

Total income

6,477 

604 

 

3,484 

678 

389 

1,050 

451 

13,133 

Other expenses

(3,158)

(451)

 

(1,814)

(445)

(202)

(1,528)

47 

(7,551)

Strategic costs

(461)

(56)

 

(167)

(45)

(9)

(436)

(391)

(1,565)

Litigation and conduct costs

(210)

(169)

 

(33)

(39)

(8)

(237)

(589)

(1,285)

Operating expenses

(3,829)

(676)

 

(2,014)

(529)

(219)

(2,201)

(933)

(10,401)

Impairment (losses)/releases

(235)

(60)

 

(362)

(6)

(3)

174 

(1)

(493)

Operating profit/(loss)

2,413 

(132)

 

1,108 

143 

167 

(977)

(483)

2,239 

Return on equity (1)

23.7%

(5.0%)

 

6.6%

6.4%

11.2%

(9.0%)

nm

2.2%

Cost:income ratio (2)

59.1%

111.9%

 

56.0%

78.0%

56.3%

nm

nm

79.0%

Third party customer asset rate (3)

3.47%

2.38%

 

2.73%

2.71%

2.71%

nm

nm

nm

Third party customer funding rate

(0.16%)

(0.31%)

 

(0.15%)

(0.09%)

(0.02%)

nm

nm

nm

Average interest earning assets

179,453 

25,214 

 

131,177 

18,799 

23,930 

31,231 

12,533 

422,337 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net interest income

4,945 

409 

 

2,143 

449 

303 

343 

116 

8,708 

Non-interest income

1,182 

167 

 

1,272 

208 

71 

869 

113 

3,882 

Total income

6,127 

576 

 

3,415 

657 

374 

1,212 

229 

12,590 

Other expenses

(3,398)

(457)

 

(1,936)

(511)

(169)

(2,084)

335 

(8,220)

Strategic costs

(244)

(40)

 

(108)

(37)

(5)

(190)

(1,482)

(2,106)

Litigation and conduct costs

(634)

(172)

 

(423)

(1)

— 

(550)

(4,088)

(5,868)

Operating expenses

(4,276)

(669)

 

(2,467)

(549)

(174)

(2,824)

(5,235)

(16,194)

Impairment (losses)/releases

(125)

113 

 

(206)

(10)

(253)

— 

(478)

Operating profit/(loss)

1,726 

20 

 

742 

111 

190 

(1,865)

(5,006)

(4,082)

Return on equity (1)

16.2%

0.7%

 

4.1%

5.6%

13.8%

(12.5%)

nm

(17.9%)

Cost:income ratio (2)

69.8%

116.1%

 

71.0%

83.6%

46.5%

nm

nm

129.0%

Third party customer asset rate (3)

— 

— 

 

— 

— 

— 

nm

nm

nm

Third party customer funding rate

— 

— 

 

— 

— 

— 

nm

nm

nm

Average interest earning assets

166,778 

25,193 

 

121,677 

16,887 

22,254 

37,856 

8,953 

399,598 

 

Notes:

(1)       RBS’s CET 1 target is approximately 14% but for the purposes of computing segmental return on equity (ROE), to better reflect the differential drivers of capital usage, segmental operating profit after tax and adjusted for preference share dividends is divided by average notional equity allocated at different rates of 14% (Ulster Bank RoI), 11% (Commercial Banking), 13.5% (Private Banking - 14% prior to Q1 2018), 16% (RBS International - 12% prior to November 2017) and 15% for all other segments, of the monthly average of segmental risk-weighted assets incorporating the effect of capital deductions (RWAes). Return on equity is calculated using profit for the period attributable to ordinary shareholders.

(2)       Operating lease depreciation included in income £121 million (2017 - £142 million; 2016 - £141 million).

(3)       Ulster Bank Ireland DAC manages its funding and liquidity requirements locally. Its liquid asset portfolios and non-customer related funding sources are included within its net interest margin, but excluded from its third party asset and liability rates.

 

40


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

 

2018 

2017 

2016 

Income

£m 

£m 

£m 

Interest receivable (1,2)

11,049 

11,034 

11,258 

Interest payable (1,2)

(2,393)

(2,047)

(2,550)

Net interest income

8,656 

8,987 

8,708 

 

 

 

 

Net fees and commissions

2,357 

2,455 

2,535 

Income from trading activities

1,507 

634 

974 

  of which: Own credit adjustments

92 

(69)

154 

Other non-interest income

882 

1,057 

373 

Non interest income

4,746 

4,146 

3,882 

Total income

13,402 

13,133 

12,590 

 

Notes:

(1)        Negative interest on net loans to customers is classed as interest payable and on customer deposits is classed as interest receivable.

(2)        Interest receivable and interest payable on trading assets and liabilities are included in income from trading activities.

 

 

2018 compared with 2017

 

·            Total income increased by £269 million, or 2.0%. Excluding notable items, income decreased by £650 million, or 4.8%, primarily reflecting lower NatWest Markets income and reduced net interest income. Excluding notable items, NatWest Markets and Central items, income was stable. Notable items are detailed on page 38.

 

·            Net interest income decreased by £331 million, or 3.7%, driven by margin pressure, active capital management in Commercial Banking, a reduction in the NatWest Markets legacy business and one-off Central items(1)  in 2017.

 

·            Net interest margin was 15 basis points lower than 2017, or 13 basis points lower excluding one-off items(1) reflecting an 8 basis points reduction relating to increased liquidity, 3 basis points from competitive pressures and 2 basis points from mix impacts.

 

·            Structural hedges of £159 billion generated £0.9 billion of incremental net interest income for the year, compared with £1.5 billion of incremental net interest income on a balance of £149 billion in 2017.

 

·            Non-interest income increased by £600 million, or 14.5%. Excluding notable items, non-interest income decreased by £381 million principally due to lower core NatWest Markets income driven by challenging fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) market conditions in Q4 2018, together with turbulence in European bond markets earlier in the year.

 

2017 compared with 2016

 

·            Net interest income of £8,987 million increased by £279 million compared with 2016. The movement was principally driven by higher mortgage volumes in UK PBB, up £185 million or 3.7%, and deposit re-pricing benefits in Commercial Banking, up £143 million or 6.7%, partially offset by planned balance sheet reductions in NatWest Markets.

 

·            The net interest margin (NIM) was 2.13% for 2017, 5 basis points lower than 2016 reflecting increased liquidity, mix impacts and competitive pressures on margin.

 

·            Structural hedges of £129 billion generated a benefit of £1.3 billion through net interest income for the year.

 

·            Non-interest income of £4,146 million increased by £264 million, or 6.8%, compared with 2016, primarily reflecting a £185 million debt sale gain in UK PBB and a £183 million increase in strategic disposals gains, partially offset by an own credit adjustment loss of £69 million compared with a gain of £180 million in 2016.

 

·            Net fees and commissions decreased by £80 million, or 3.2%, compared with 2016 reflecting a £48 million reduction in UK PBB, driven by increased cash back payments as the Reward proposition continued to grow with customer accounts 26% higher than 2016, and lower income in NatWest Markets.

 

·            Income from trading activities, excluding own credit adjustments,  decreased by £117 million, or 14.3%, compared with 2016 primarily reflecting lower income in NatWest Markets, down £247 million, or 29.8%, driven by increased losses in the legacy business. A gain of £2 million for volatile items under IFRS in 2017 compared with a charge of £510 million in 2016. This movement was broadly offset by FX losses of £183 million in 2017, compared with FX gains of £446 million in 2016, following the strengthening of sterling against the US dollar.

 

Note:

(1)        One-off items in 2017 include central interest releases of £30 million and £44 million relating to Capital resolution.

 

41


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Financial summary continued

Statutory analysis (1,2)

 

Non-statutory analysis

 

2018 

2017 

2016 

 

2018 

2017 

2016 

Operating expenses

£m 

£m 

£m 

 

£m 

£m 

£m 

Staff expenses

4,122 

4,676 

5,124 

 

3,649 

3,923 

4,482 

Premises and equipment

1,383 

1,565 

1,388 

 

1,241 

1,218 

1,297 

Other administrative expenses

3,372 

3,323 

8,745 

 

1,787 

1,710 

1,619 

Strategic costs (1)

— 

— 

— 

 

1,004 

1,565 

2,106 

Litigation and conduct costs (2)

— 

— 

— 

 

1,282 

1,285 

5,868 

Administrative expenses

8,877 

9,564 

15,257 

 

8,963 

9,701 

15,372 

Depreciation and amortisation

731 

808 

778 

 

645 

684 

705 

Write down of other intangible assets

37 

29 

159 

 

37 

16 

117 

Operating expenses

9,645 

10,401 

16,194 

 

9,645 

10,401 

16,194 

 

 

Notes:

(1)   On a statutory, or GAAP, basis, strategic costs are included within staff, premises and equipment, and other administrative expenses.

(2)   On a statutory, or GAAP, basis, litigation and conduct costs are included within other administrative expenses.

 

 

2018 compared with 2017

 

·             Operating expenses decreased by £756 million, or 7.3%, primarily reflecting £561 million lower strategic costs and a £192 million reduction in other expenses, with litigation and conduct costs remaining broadly stable despite the US Department of Justice charge in the year. Excluding £86 million of one-off VAT releases in 2017, other expenses decreased by £278 million, or 3.6%, and FTEs reduced by 5.8%.

 

·             Strategic costs of £1,004 million included: a £195 million direct charge in NatWest Markets relating to both the wind-down of the legacy business and ongoing development of the core business infrastructure; £177 million in respect of implementing ring-fencing requirements; £171 million of technology costs; a £133 million charge relating to the reduction in our property portfolio; a £76 million net settlement relating to the International Private Bank pension scheme; with the remaining charge largely relating to restructuring costs to achieve cost efficiencies across front and back office operations.

 

·             Litigation and conduct costs of £1,282 million largely comprises the £1,040 million charge relating to the settlement with the Department of Justice and a £200 million charge relating to Payment Protection Insurance, partially offset by a £241 million provision release relating to a RMBS litigation indemnity.

 

·             The cost:income ratio of 71.7% is elevated due to the inclusion of the net RMBS related conduct charge. Excluding this item the cost:income ratio, including strategic costs, would be 65.7%.

 

2017 compared with 2016

 

·             Total operating expenses of £10,401 million were £5,793 million, or 35.8%, lower than 2016 reflecting a £4,583 million reduction in litigation and conduct costs, a £541 million reduction in restructuring costs, and a £669 million, or 8.1%, reduction in other operating expenses. Excluding VAT recoveries of £86 million (2016 - £227 million), other operating expenses have reduced by £810 million for the year, ahead of our £750 million targeted reduction, with approximately 45% of the total cost reduction delivered across PBB (comprising the reportable segments UK PBB and Ulster Bank RoI), CPB (comprising the reportable segments Commercial Banking and Private Banking, RBSI and the NatWest Markets core business, adjusting for transfers (1).

 

·             Excluding staff restructuring costs in 2017 and 2016 of £753 million and £642 million respectively, staff costs of £3,923 million were £559 million, or 12.5%, lower than 2016 underpinned by a 6,600, or 8.5%, reduction in FTEs.

 

·             Restructuring costs of £1,565 million included: a £303 million charge relating to the reduction in the property portfolio; a £319 million charge in NatWest Markets principally relating to the run-down and closure of the legacy business; £221 million relating to the business previously described as Williams & Glyn; £194 million in respect of implementing ring-fencing requirements; and a £73 million net settlement relating to the RBS Netherlands pension scheme.

 

·             Litigation and conduct costs of £1,285 million included: additional charges in respect of settlement with Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the California State Attorney General and additional RMBS related provisions in the US; a further provision in relation to settling the 2008 rights issue shareholder litigation; an additional £175 million PPI provision; and a £169 million provision in Ulster Bank RoI for customer remediation and project costs relating to tracker mortgages and other legacy business issues.

 

 

Note:

(1)        Refer to footnotes on pages 27 and 28.

 

42


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Financial summary continued

2018 

2017 

Impairments

£m 

£m 

Loans - amortised cost (1)

319,800 

321,633 

ECL provisions (2)

3,368 

3,814 

 

 

 

Impairment losses

 

 

ECL charge (3,4)

398 

493 

ECL loss rate - annualised (basis points)

12.45 

15.33 

Amounts written off

1,494 

1,210 

 

 

Notes:

(1)        The table above summarises loans and related credit impairment measures on an IFRS 9 basis at 31 December 2018 and on an IAS 39 basis at 31 December 2017.

(2)        2018 ECL provisions in the above table are provisions on loan assets only. Other ECL provisions not included, relate to cash, debt securities and contingent liabilities, and amount to £28 million, of which £5 million was FVOCI.

(3)        2018 ECL charge balance in the above table included a £3 million charge relating to other financial assets, of which a £1 million charge related to assets at FVOCI; and a £31 million release related to contingent liabilities.

(4)        2017 comprises loan impairment losses of £530 million and releases on securities of £37 million.

 

2018 compared with 2017

 

·            A net impairment loss of £398 million, 13 basis points of gross customer loans, decreased by £95 million, or 19.3%, compared with 2017 primarily reflecting lower single name charges in Commercial Banking, partially offset by fewer provision releases in UK PBB and NatWest Markets.

 

·            In addition, we took an additional £101 million charge in Q3 2018 reflecting the more uncertain economic outlook and a net £60 million impairment charge in Ulster Bank RoI principally in relation to ongoing sales from our loan book to further reduce the level of non performing loans. Underlying credit conditions remained benign during 2018.

 

43


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Tax

 

 

2018

2017

2016

 

£m

£m

£m

Tax charge

(1,275)

(824)

(1,166)

UK corporation tax rate

19.00%

19.25%

20.00%

 

2018 compared with 2017

 

·                  The tax charge for the year ended 31 December 2018 is higher than the UK statutory tax rate reflecting the impact of the banking surcharge, non-deductible bank levy and conduct charges for which no tax relief has been recognised. These factors have been offset partially by adjustments in respect of prior years.

 

2017 compared with 2016

 

·                  The tax charge for the year ended 31 December 2017 is higher than the UK statutory tax rate reflecting the impact of the banking surcharge, non-deductible bank levy and conduct charges for which no tax relief has been recognised, a reduction in the carrying value and impact of UK tax rate changes on deferred tax balances.  These factors have been offset partially by the release of tax provisions that reflect the reduction of exposures in countries where RBS is ceasing operations.

 

44


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Financial summary continued

 

Summary consolidated balance sheet as at 31 December 2018

 

 

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

 

£m

 

£m

 

£m

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and balances at central banks

 

88,897

 

98,337

 

74,250

Trading assets

 

75,119

 

85,991

 

86,660

Derivatives

 

133,349

 

160,843

 

246,981

Loans to banks - amortised cost

 

12,947

 

11,517

 

12,238

Loans to customers - amortised cost

 

305,089

 

310,116

 

307,778

Settlement balances

 

2,928

 

2,517

 

5,526

Other financial assets

 

59,485

 

51,929

 

48,637

Other assets

 

16,421

 

16,806

 

16,586

Total assets

 

694,235

 

738,056

 

798,656

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bank deposits

 

23,297

 

30,396

 

13,675

Customer deposits

 

360,914

 

361,316

 

343,498

Trading liabilities

 

72,350

 

81,982

 

84,536

Derivatives

 

128,897

 

154,506

 

236,475

Other financial liabilities

 

42,798

 

33,170

 

30,782

Subordinated liabilities

 

10,535

 

12,722

 

19,419

Other liabilities

 

8,954

 

14,871

 

20,867

Total liabilities

 

647,745

 

688,963

 

749,252

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total equity

 

46,490

 

49,093

 

49,404

Total liabilities and equity

 

694,235

 

738,056

 

798,656

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tangible net asset value per ordinary share (1)

 

287

p

288

p

294p

 

Note:

(1)             Tangible net asset value per ordinary share represents tangible equity divided by the number of ordinary shares in issue

 

From 1 January 2018, the Group adopted IFRS 9 ‘Financial Instruments’. IFRS 9 changed the balance sheet classification categories from IAS 39. Refer to Note 33 for full details of the impact of IFRS 9 on the Group’s balance sheet.

 

·     Total assets of £694.2 billion as at 31 December 2018 were down £43.8 billion, 5.9%, compared with 31 December 2017. This was primarily driven by reductions in trading assets and derivatives reflecting the wind-down of the legacy business and management of the leverage exposure.

 

·     Cash and balances at central banks decreased by £9.4 billion, 9.6%, to £88.9 billion representing liquidity management, the payment of the settlement with the US Department of Justice and the pension contribution in the year.

 

·     Trading assets decreased by £10.9 billion, 12.6%, to £75.1 billion and trading liabilities decreased by £9.6 billion, 11.7%, to £72.4 billion mainly due to the wind-down of the legacy business in NatWest Markets.

 

·     Movements in the value of derivative assets, down £27.5 billion, 17.1%, to £133.3 billion, and liabilities, down £25.6 billion, 16.6% to £128.9 billion, due to trading volumes and valuations in NatWest Markets.

 

·     Loans to customers - amortised cost, decreased by £5.0 billion, 1.6%, to £305.1 billion including £2.2 billion in Commercial Banking due to active capital management, activity and approximately £0.7 billion, in Ulster Bank RoI, primarily in relation to the sale of a portfolio of non-performing loans.

 

·     Other financial assets includes debt securities, equity shares and other loans and increased by £7.6 billion, 14.6%, to £59.5 billion, primarily reflecting increases in the liquidity portfolio driven by increased customer surplus within in the ring-fenced banks, reduced funding requirement and net term issuance in NatWest Markets.

 

·     Other assets includes property, plant & equipment, deferred tax, assets of disposal groups, accruals, deferred income and pension scheme surpluses and decreased by £0.4 billion, 2.3% to £16.4 billion.

 

·     Bank deposits decreased by £7.1 billion, 23.4%, to £23.3 billion, with decreases relating to funding management including a £5 billion payment in relation to the Bank of England Term Funding Scheme participation.

 

·     Customer deposits decreased by £0.4 billion, 0.1% to £360.9 billion with increases in UK PBB, Ulster Bank RoI and Private Banking offset by decreases in Commercial Banking and RBS International.

 

·     Other financial liabilities included customer deposits at fair value through profit and loss and debt securities and increased by £9.6 billion, 29.0%, to £42.8 billion primarily including issuances in the year of covered bonds and MREL in the year.

 

·     Subordinated liabilities decreased by £2.2 billion, 17.2% to £10.5 billion, primarily as a result of redemptions of £2.0 billion reflecting on-going liability management activities.

 

·     Other liabilities included deferred awards, deferred income, notes in circulation and accruals and decreased by £5.9 billion, 39.8% to £9.0 billion mainly due to the reduction in provisions in the year, primarily in relation to the settlement with the US Department of Justice.

 

·     Owners’ equity decreased by £2.6 billion, 5.4%, to £45.7 billion, primarily driven by preference share redemptions and the pension contribution in the year offset by the £2.1 billion profit for the year.

 

Cash flow

Refer to page 185 for the consolidated cash flow statement.

 

45


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Segment performance

 

UK Personal & Business Banking

 

Income statement

 

2018

 

2017 

 

2016

 

£m

 

£m 

 

£m

Net interest income

 

5,098

 

5,130

 

4,945

Non-interest income

 

1,184

 

1,347

 

1,182

Total income

 

6,282

 

6,477

 

6,127

Other costs

 

(2,991)

 

(3,158)

 

(3,398)

Strategic costs

 

(275)

 

(461)

 

(244)

Litigation and conduct costs

 

(216)

 

(210)

 

(634)

Operating expenses

 

(3,482)

 

(3,829)

 

(4,276)

Impairment losses

 

(342)

 

(235)

 

(125)

Operating profit

 

2,458

 

2,413

 

1,726

Performance ratios

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return on equity (1)

 

24.3%

 

23.7%

 

16.2%

Net interest margin

 

2.78%

 

2.86%

 

2.97%

Cost:income ratio

 

55.4%

 

59.1%

 

69.8%

 

Note:

(1)        Return on equity is based on segmental operating profit after tax adjusted for preference dividends divided by average notional equity based on 15% of the monthly average of segmental RWAes, assuming 28% tax rate.

 

Capital and balance sheet

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

£bn

 

£bn

 

£bn

Loans to customers (amortised cost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  - personal advances

 

7.6

 

7.1

 

6.9

  - mortgages

 

138.3

 

136.8

 

128.0

  - cards

 

4.0

 

4.0

 

4.2

  - business banking

 

6.8

 

6.8

 

6.3

  - commercial

 

7.0

 

8.3

 

8.8

Total loans to customers (amortised cost)

 

163.7

 

163.0

 

154.2

Loan impairment provisions

 

(1.4

)

(1.3

)

(1.5)

Net loans to customers

 

162.3

 

161.7

 

152.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

194.2

 

190.6

 

181.4

Customer deposits

 

184.1

 

180.4

 

169.6

Risk-weighted assets

 

45.1

 

43.0

 

42.3

 

46


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Segment performance continued

2018 compared with 2017

 

·     UK PBB now has 6.4 million regular mobile app users, 16% higher than 2017, with 72% of our active current account customers being regular digital users. Total digital sales increased by 19% representing 45% of all sales. 61% of mortgage switching is now done digitally, compared with 51% in 2017. 57% of personal unsecured loans sales are via the digital channel, with digital volumes 31% higher. In business banking, 91% of current accounts and 68% of loans under £50,000 were originated digitally.

 

·     Total income was £195 million, or 3.0%, lower reflecting £124 million lower debt sale gains and a £33 million transfer of the Collective Investment Funds business to Private Banking in Q4 2017. Excluding these items, income was £38 million, or 0.6%, lower, including a £28 million reduction in overdraft fees following changes implemented in H2 2017, which included increasing the number of customer alerts. Net interest income of £5,098 million decreased by 0.6% as balance growth and deposit margin benefits were offset by lower mortgage new business margins, with net interest margin down by 8 basis points to 2.78%.

 

·     Operating expenses decreased by £347 million, or 9.1%. Excluding strategic, litigation and conduct costs, operating expenses were £167 million, or 5.3%, lower driven by reduced back-office operations costs and lower headcount reflecting continued operating efficiencies, partially offset by increased technology investment spend as we continue to build our digital capability.

 

·     Impairments were £107 million higher driven by fewer provision releases and lower recoveries following debt sales in prior years, as well as increased provisioning requirements under IFRS 9. The underlying default rate remained broadly stable with asset growth also accounting for an element of the uplift.

 

·     Net loans to customers increased by 0.4% to £162.3 billion. The business has maintained a prudent approach to risk and pricing in a very competitive market, with gross new mortgage lending in 2018 at £30.4 billion, 1.9% lower than 2017. Mortgage market share was maintained at 11.3% supporting a stock share of around 10%. Momentum continued in personal advances and business banking, increasing by 7.0% and 0.4% respectively.

 

·     Customer deposits increased by £3.7 billion, or 2.1%, as growth continued across current accounts and savings.

 

·     RWAs increased by £2.1 billion, or 4.9%, principally due to modelling changes on mortgages and unsecured loans.

 

2017 compared with 2016

 

·     Operating profit was £2,413 million compared with £1,726 million in 2016. The increase was driven by higher income, lower litigation and conduct charges and lower other operating expenses, partially offset by higher restructuring costs, largely relating to the reduction in our property portfolio and costs associated with the business previously described as Williams & Glyn(1), and higher impairments. Return on equity increased to 23.7% from 16.2% in 2016.

 

·     Total income of £6,477 million was £350 million, or 5.7%, higher than 2016, principally reflecting strong balance growth, savings re-pricing benefits and a £185 million debt sale gain. Net interest margin declined by 11 basis points to 2.86% driven by lower mortgage margins, asset mix and reduced current account hedge yield, partially offset by savings re-pricing benefits from actions taken in 2016 and following the Q4 2017 base rate increase.

 

·     Operating expenses decreased £447 million, or 10.5%, to £3,829 million. Excluding litigation and conduct costs, and restructuring costs, other operating expenses decreased by £240 million, or 7.1%, to £3,158 million compared with 2016 driven by a £59 million, or 7.1%, reduction in staff costs, with headcount down 8.3%, and a £181 million reduction in operational costs following process and productivity improvements in service operations and re-integration benefits in respect of the business previously described as Williams & Glyn(1). Cost:income ratio improved to 59.1% in 2017 compared with 69.8% in 2016.

 

·     The net impairment charge of £235 million, or 14 basis points of gross customer loans, reflected continued benign credit conditions. 2017 had lower recoveries partly as a result of the debt sales undertaken, compared with 2016. Defaults remained at very low levels across all portfolios compared to historic trends, although slightly higher than in 2016.

 

·     Net loans and advances increased by £9.0 billion, or 5.9%, to £161.7 billion as UK PBB continued to deliver support for both personal and business banking customers. Gross new mortgage lending in 2017 was £31.0 billion with market share of new mortgages at approximately 12%, resulting in stock share of approximately 10% at 31 December 2017 compared with 9.7% at 31 December 2016. Positive momentum continued across business banking lending, with net balances up 3.0% compared with 31 December 2016, adjusting for transfers(2).

 

·     Customer deposits increased by £10.8 billion, or 6.4%, to £180.4 billion, driven by strong personal current account and business deposit growth.

 

·     UK PBB includes commercial income from the business previously described as Williams & Glyn(1) of approximately £417 million, gross loans and advances of £8.3 billion and deposits of £14.3 billion. An estimated £70 million of the commercial income, £1.7 billion of gross loans and advances and £1.8 billion of deposits relates to mid-corporate customers not subject to the European Commission alternative remedies package. 120,000 of the remaining approximately 220,000 customers will be subject to the remedies package.

 

Notes:

(1)   The business previously described as Williams & Glyn was integrated in to the reportable operating segment UK PBB in Q4 2017 and prior year comparatives re-presented.

(2)   UK PBB Collective Investment Funds (CIFL) business was transferred to Private Banking on 1 October 2017. CIFL Business transfer included total income of £33 million and total expenses of £9 million. Comparatives were not re-presented. Transfers also included £0.4 billion loans and advances transferred from Commercial Banking to UK PBB during 2017 to better align Business banking customers. Comparatives were not re-presented.

 

47


 

Business review

 

 

 

 

Ulster Bank RoI

 

Income statement

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

m

 

m

 

m

 

£m

 

£m

 

£m

Net interest income

 

502

 

480

 

501

 

444

 

421

 

409

Non-interest income

 

187

 

209

 

100

 

166

 

183

 

167

Total income

 

689

 

689

 

704

 

610

 

604

 

576

Other costs

 

(553)

 

(516)

 

(559)

 

(490)

 

(451)

 

(457)

Strategic costs

 

(25)

 

(64)

 

(48)

 

(22)

 

(56)

 

(40)

Litigation and conduct costs

 

(79)

 

(192)

 

(211)

 

(71)

 

(169)

 

(172)

Operating expenses

 

(657)

 

(772)

 

(818)

 

(583)

 

(676)

 

(669)

Impairment losses

 

(17)

 

(68)

 

138

 

(15)

 

(60)

 

113

Operating profit/(loss)

 

15

 

(151)

 

24

 

12

 

(132)

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average exchange rate  -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.130

 

1.142

 

1.224

Performance ratios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return on equity (1)

 

0.5%

 

(5.0%)

 

0.7%

 

0.5%

 

(5.0%)

 

0.7%

Net interest margin

 

1.79%

 

1.67%

 

1.62%

 

1.79%

 

1.67%

 

1.62%

Cost:income ratio

 

95.6%

 

111.9%

 

116.1%

 

95.6%

 

111.9%

 

116.1%

 

Note:

(1)            Return on equity is based on segmental operating profit after tax adjusted for preference share dividends divided by average notional equity (based on 14% of the monthly average of segmental risk-weighted assets incorporating the effect of capital deductions (RWAes)), assuming a nil tax rate.

 

Capital and balance sheet

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2018

 

2017