Company Quick10K Filing
Royal Bank of Scotland
20-F 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-27
20-F 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-28
20-F 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-03-29
20-F 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-03-27
20-F 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-03-24
20-F 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-03-31
20-F 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-04-30
20-F 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-03-27
20-F 2011-12-31 Filed 2012-03-27
20-F 2010-12-31 Filed 2011-03-31
20-F 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-04-27

RBS 20F Annual Report

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Royal Bank of Scotland Earnings 2015-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

20-F 1 dp64322_20f.htm FORM 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

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

 

OR

 

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

 

OR

 

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:

 

Title of each class 

Name of each exchange on which 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 New York Stock Exchange*

American Depositary Shares Series F, H, L, R, S, T nd U each representing one

Non-Cumulative Dollar Preference Share, Series F, H, L, R, S, T and U respectively

New York Stock Exchange
Dollar Perpetual Regulatory Tier 1 Securities New York Stock Exchange
Floating Rate Senior Notes due 2017 New York Stock Exchange
1.875% Senior Notes due 2017 New York Stock Exchange
4.70% Subordinated Notes due 2018 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
5.125% Subordinated Tier 2 Notes due 2024 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 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

Perpetual Subordinated Contingent Convertible Additional Tier 1 Capital Notes callable 2025

Irish Stock Exchange

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, 2015, the close of the period covered by the annual report:

 

(Title of each class) 

(Number of outstanding shares) 

Ordinary shares of £1 each 11,624,563,916
11% cumulative preference shares 500,000
5½% cumulative preference shares 400,000
Non-cumulative dollar preference shares, Series F, H, L and R to U 133,839,880
Non-cumulative convertible dollar preference shares, Series 1 64,772
Non-cumulative euro preference shares, Series 1 to 3 2,044,418
Non-cumulative convertible sterling preference shares, Series 1 14,866
Non-cumulative sterling preference shares, Series 1 54,442

 

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

  Yes        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.

  Yes        No

 

Note – Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.

 

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.

  Yes        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).

  Yes        No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer   Accelerated filer   Non-Accelerated filer  

 

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

  U.S. GAAP

 

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

  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.

  Item 17         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).

  Yes        No

 

 

 

 

SEC Form 20-F cross reference guide

 

Item Item Caption Pages 
     
PART I    
1 Identity of Directors, Senior Management, Not applicable
  Advisers  
     
2 Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable Not applicable
     
3 Key Information  
  Selected financial data 103, 140-141, 263-269, 367-380
  Capitalisation and indebtedness Not applicable
  Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds Not applicable
  Risk factors 37-38, 384-408
     
4 Information on the Company  
  History and development of the Company 5, 93-96, 273, 318-319, 337, 429
  Business overview 5-33, 37-41, 93,101-102, 156, 158 160-162,
  Organisational structure 93,156, 158 160-162, Exhibit 8.1
  Property, plant and equipment 273-274, 318-319, 409
     
4A Unresolved Staff Comments Not applicable
     
5 Operating and Financial Review and Prospects  
  Operating results 5-18, 25, 28, 30, 32, 85-89, 103-141, 240-261, 284-288, 350
  Liquidity and capital resources 138-141,154-168, 169-179, 265, 269, 313-317, 326-327, 328-331, 335, 350-351, 367-372, 379
  Research and development, patents, licences etc Not applicable
  Trend information 5-18, 23,37-38, 102
  Off balance sheet arrangements 222, 333-334, 336-349   
  Contractual obligations 174-177, 332, 336-337
     
     
6 Directors, Senior Management and Employees  
  Directors and senior management 34-35, 43-48, 97
  Compensation 71-89, 286-294, 357
  Board practices 34-35, 43-69, 97  
  Employees 39, 89, 94, 286
  Share ownership 79-81, 87, 257, 287
     
7 Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions  
  Major shareholders 98, 358, 381-382,409
  Related party transactions 357-358
  Interests of experts and counsel Not applicable
     
8 Financial Information  
  Consolidated statements and other financial information 103-141, 261-365, 367-368
  Significant changes  4, 98, 358
     
9 The Offer and Listing  
  Offer and listing details 328-331, 416-417
  Plan of distribution Not applicable
  Markets 92,415-417
  Selling shareholders Not applicable
  Dilution Not applicable
  Expenses of the issue Not applicable
     
10 Additional Information  
  Share capital Not applicable
  Memorandum and articles of association 422-429
  Material contracts 381-382
  Exchange controls 421
  Taxation 418-421
  Dividends and paying agents Not applicable
  Statement of experts Not applicable
  Documents on display 429
  Subsidiary information Not applicable
     
11 Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure 143-153, 189-260, 297-313, 369-379    
  about Market Risk  
     
12 Description of Securities other than 383
  Equity Securities  

 

 

 

     
Item Item Caption Pages
     
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 55, 58, 90-92, 262, Exhibits 12.1, 12.2
     
16  [Reserved]  
     
16A Audit Committee financial expert 56
16B Code of ethics 39, 148, 409
16C Principal Accountant Fees and services 55, 60, 294
16D Exemptions from the Listing Standards Not applicable
  for Audit Committees  
16E Purchases of Equity Securities by the Not applicable
  Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers  
16F Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant 409
16G Corporate Governance 47-48, 92
16H Mine Safety Disclosure Not applicable
     
     
PART III    
17 Financial Statements Not applicable
     
18 Financial Statements 261-365
     
19 Exhibit Index 442-443
  Exhibits  (including certifications)  
     
     
Signature    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Strategic report Page  
  Forward-looking statements 2  
  Presentation of information 3  
  Recent developments 4  
  2015 Performance 5  
  Our progress in 2015 12  
  Chairman’s statement 13  
  Chief Executive’s review 16  
  Business model and strategy 18  
    Our Structure 19  
    Our Strategy 20  
    Our Operating Model 21  
    Our Values 21  
    Our Customers 22  
  Key economic indicators 23  
  Business review 24  
    Personal & Business Banking 25  
    Commercial & Private Banking 27  
    Corporate & Institutional Banking 30  
    Capital Resolution 32  
  Governance at a glance 34  
  Risk overview 36  
  Sustainable banking 39  
  Detailed information    
  Governance 42  
  Business review 100  
  Capital and risk management 142  
  Financial statements 261  
  Risk factors 384  
  Shareholder information 412  
  Abbreviations and acronyms 430  
  Glossary of terms 431  
  Index 438  
  Important addresses 441  
1
 

 

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’, ‘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: The Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (RBS) restructuring, which includes the separation and divestment of Williams & Glyn, the proposed restructuring of RBS’s CIB business, the implementation of the UK ring-fencing regime, the implementation of a major development program to update RBS’s IT infrastructure and the continuation of its balance sheet reduction programme, as well as capital and strategic plans, divestments, capitalisation, portfolios, net interest margin, capital and leverage ratios and requirements liquidity, risk-weighted assets (RWAs), RWA equivalents (RWAe), Pillar 2A, return on equity (ROE), profitability, cost:income ratios, loan:deposit ratios, AT1 and other funding plans, funding and credit risk profile; litigation, government and regulatory investigations RBS’s future financial performance; the level and extent of future impairments and write-downs; including with respect to goodwill; future pension contributions and RBS’s exposure to political risks, operational risk, conduct risk and credit rating risk and to various types of market risks, such as interest rate risk, foreign exchange rate risk and commodity and equity price risk. These statements are based on current plans, estimates, targets and projections, and are subject to inherent risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. For example, certain market risk disclosures are dependent on choices relying on key model characteristics and assumptions and are subject to various limitations. By their nature, certain of the market risk disclosures are only estimates and, as a result, actual future gains and losses could differ materially from those that have been estimated.

 

Other factors that could adversely affect our results and the accuracy of forward-looking statements in this document include the risk factors and other uncertainties discussed in this document. These include the significant risks for RBS presented by the outcomes of the legal, regulatory and governmental actions and investigations that RBS is subject to (including active civil and criminal investigations) and any resulting material adverse effect on RBS of unfavourable outcomes (including where resolved by settlement); the uncertainty relating to the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union and the consequences of it; the separation and divestment of Williams & Glyn; RBS’s ability to successfully implement the various initiatives that are comprised in its restructuring plan, particularly the proposed restructuring of its CIB business and the balance sheet reduction programme as well as the significant restructuring required to be undertaken by RBS in order to implement the UK ring fencing regime; the significant changes, complexity and costs relating to the implementation of its restructuring, the separation and divestment of Williams & Glyn and the UK ring-fencing regime; whether RBS will emerge from its restructuring and the UK ring-fencing regime as a viable, competitive, customer focused and profitable bank; RBS’s ability to achieve its capital and leverage requirements or targets which will depend on RBS’s success in reducing the size of its business and future profitability; ineffective management of capital or changes to regulatory requirements relating to capital adequacy and liquidity or failure to pass mandatory stress tests; the ability to access sufficient sources of capital, liquidity and funding when required; changes in the credit ratings of RBS or the UK government; declining revenues resulting from lower customer retention and revenue generation in light of RBS’s strategic refocus on the UK the impact of global economic and financial market conditions (including low or negative interest rates) as well as increasing competition.

 

In addition, there are other risks and uncertainties. These include operational risks that are inherent to RBS’s business and will increase as a result of RBS’s significant restructuring; the potential negative impact on RBS’s business of actual or perceived global economic and financial market conditions and other global risks; the impact of unanticipated turbulence in interest rates, yield curves, foreign currency exchange rates, credit spreads, bond prices, commodity prices, equity prices; basis, volatility and correlation risks; heightened regulatory and governmental scrutiny and the increasingly regulated environment in which RBS operates; the risk of failure to realise the benefit of RBS’s substantial investments in its information technology and systems, the risk of failing to prevent a failure of RBS’s IT systems or to protect itself and its customers against cyber threats, reputational risks; risks relating to the failure to embed and maintain a robust conduct and risk culture across the organisation or if its risk management framework is ineffective; risks relating to increased pension liabilities and the impact of pension risk on RBS’s capital position; increased competitive pressures resulting from new incumbents and disruptive technologies; RBS’s ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; HM Treasury exercising influence over the operations of RBS; limitations on, or additional requirements imposed on, RBS’s activities as a result of HM Treasury’s investment in RBS; the extent of future write-downs and impairment charges caused by depressed asset valuations; deteriorations in borrower and counterparty credit quality; the value and effectiveness of any credit protection purchased by RBS; risks relating to the reliance on valuation, capital and stress test models and any inaccuracies resulting therefrom or failure to accurately reflect changes in the micro and macroeconomic environment in which RBS operates, risks relating to changes in applicable accounting policies or rules which may impact the preparation of RBS’s financial statements; the impact of the recovery and resolution framework and other prudential rules to which RBS is subject the recoverability of deferred tax assets by the Group; and the success of RBS in managing the risks involved in the foregoing.

 

The forward-looking statements contained in this document speak only as at the date hereof, and RBS 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 instrument.

 

2
 

 

Presentation of information

 

 

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 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.

 

Non-GAAP financial information 

The directors manage RBS’s performance by class of business, showing certain items in separate lines, as is presented in the business review on pages 103 to 136 (the “non-statutory basis”).

 

The following items, which were previously reported separately after operating profit, are now reported within operating profit: Own credit adjustments; Gain/(loss) on redemption of own debt; Write-down of goodwill and Strategic disposals. RFS Holdings minority interest (RFS MI) was restated for periods up to and including 2014 only.

 

The non-statutory results continue to show: Own credit adjustments; Gain/(loss) on redemption of own debt; Write-down of goodwill; Strategic disposals; Restructuring costs; and Litigation and conduct costs as separate line items.

 

Discussion of RBS’s performance in this report presents RBS’s results on a non-statutory basis as management believes that such measures allow a more meaningful analysis of RBS’s financial condition and the results of its operations. These measures are non-GAAP financial measures. A body of generally accepted accounting principles such as IFRS is commonly referred to as ‘GAAP’. 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. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the closest equivalent GAAP measure are presented throughout this document and in the segment performance on pages 110 to 136. These non-GAAP financial measures are not a substitute for GAAP measures.

 

The presentation of operating profit, operating expenses, total income and other performance measures excluding the impact of: Own credit adjustments; Gain/(loss) on redemption of own debt; Write-down of goodwill; Strategic disposals; Restructuring costs; and Litigation and conduct costs are a non-GAAP financial measures and are not a substitute for the equivalent GAAP measure.

 

The presentation of Personal & Business Banking (PBB) combines the reportable segments of UK Personal & Business Banking and Ulster Bank RoI and is a non-GAAP financial measure. The presentation of Commercial and Private Banking (CPB) combines the reportable segments of Commercial Banking, Private Banking and RBS International (RBSI) and is also a non-GAAP financial measure.

 

The presentation of the cost savings against 2015 target as shown in the Strategic Report on pages 7, 17 and 20 which excludes litigation and conduct costs, restructuring costs, write down of goodwill and other intangible assets and other operating costs of William’s & Glyn is a non-GAAP financial measure.

 

Lastly, the liquidity coverage ratio, stressed outflow coverage, net stable funding ratio, RWAes and further metrics included in the Business review and Capital and risk management section represent non-GAAP financial measures and are being presented for informational purposes given they are metrics that are not yet required to be disclosed by a government, governmental authority or self-regulatory organisation.

 

3
 

 

Recent Developments

 

 

Dividend Access Share 

On 22 March 2016, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc paid the final dividend of £1.193 billion in respect of the Dividend Access Share to Her Majesty's Treasury ("HMT"). The dividend represents the final amount payable to HMT and effects the immediate retirement of the DAS.

 

This dividend payment will be reflected in our first quarter 2016 financial statements, reducing Tangible Net Asset Value per share by approximately 10 pence. The equivalent Common Equity Tier 1 impact as at FY 2015 would have been c.50bps.

 

On retirement, the DAS was re-designated as a single B share which will be subsequently cancelled. Following the conversion in 2015 of the B shares held by HMT into Ordinary Shares, the retirement of the DAS will complete the normalisation of RBS's capital structure.

 

Accelerated payments to the pension fund 

Subsequently and pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding, the bank agreed with the Trustee a Statement of Funding Principles in relation to an actuarial valuation as at 31 December 2015.  The bank and Trustee also updated the existing Schedule of Contributions and Recovery Plan to reflect the £4.2 billion contribution, which was paid during March 2016.

 

Foreign exchange related investigations 

As previously disclosed, on 21 July 2014, the Serious Fraud Office in the UK (SFO) announced that it was launching a criminal investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the foreign exchange market, apparently involving multiple financial institutions. On 15 March 2016, the SFO announced that it was closing its investigation, having concluded that, based on the information and material obtained, there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

 

 

4
 

2015 performance

 

 

Loss attributable to ordinary shareholders (£1,979m)   Operating profit on a non-statutory basis(1) £4,405m
Operating loss before tax (£2,703m)   Common Equity Tier 1 ratio (2) 15.5%
Risk-weighted assets (RWAs) £243bn   Loan:deposit ratio (3) 89%
Short-term wholesale funding (4) £17bn   Liquidity portfolio £156bn
Leverage ratio (5) 5.6%   Return on tangible equity (6) (4.7%)
Cost:income ratio 127%   Net interest margin 2.12%
Cost:income ratio – on a non-statutory basis (1) 72%    

 

(1)Income excludes gains on own credit adjustments of £309 million, loss on redemption of own debt £263 million and loss on strategic disposals of £157 million, and expenses excludes restructuring costs of £2,931 million, litigation and conduct costs of £3,568 million and write-down of goodwill of £498 million

(2)End-point CRR basis.

(3)Includes disposal groups.

(4)Excludes repurchase agreements and stock lending and derivative collateral.

(5)Based on end-point CRR Tier 1 capital and leverage exposure based on CRR Delegated Act.

(6)Tangible equity is equity attributable to ordinary shareholders less intangible assets.

 

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) continues to deliver on its plan to build a strong simple and fair bank for both customers and shareholders. RBS delivered against its 2015 targets.

 

RBS reported a loss attributable to ordinary shareholders of £1,979 million, compared with a loss of £3,470 million in 2014. This included elevated restructuring costs (£2,931 million), as the bank’s repositioning accelerated, particularly in the Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) business. Litigation and conduct costs (£3,568 million) increased as further steps were taken to clear legacy obstacles from RBS’s path to normalisation.

 

RBS continues to strengthen and reshape the balance sheet, building on a strong track record of delivery. Risk-weighted assets (RWAs) reduced 32%, or £113 billion, including £109 billion from the disposal of Citizens Financial Group and the accelerated run-down of Capital Resolution.

 

RBS intends to pay a final dividend on the Dividend Access Share (DAS) during the first half of 2016 subject to final Board and PRA approval, further normalising the capital structure of the bank and removing a constraint on the resumption of capital distributions.

 

2015 results included a charge for goodwill impairment of £498 million attributed to Private Banking; a loss on redemption of own debt of £263 million; and a gain of £1,147 million on loss of control of Citizens largely arising from the reclassification of foreign exchange reserves (£962 million).

 

Operating loss was £2,703 million compared with an operating profit of £2,643 million in 2014, primarily due to increased restructuring costs of £2,931 million (2014 - £1,154 million) and litigation and conduct costs of £3,568 million (2014 - £2,194 million). Operating profit excluding these restructuring costs and litigation and conduct costs, together with write down of goodwill charges of £498 million (2014 - £130 million) totalled £4,405 million compared with an operating profit of £6,056 million in 2014, lower primarily due to income attrition and disposal losses in the Capital Resolution business.

 

UK PBB recorded an operating profit of £1,030 million in 2015, a reduction of 9% or £103 million from 2014. This was primarily driven by lower non-interest income combined with increased restructuring costs and litigation and conduct costs. This was partially offset by a small net impairment release compared with a prior year charge. Operating profit excluding litigation and conduct costs (2015 - £972 million; 2014 - £918 million) and restructuring costs (2015 - £167 million; 2014 - £111 million) was £2,169 million, broadly stable compared with the prior year. There was a good performance in mortgages with net new lending totaling £9.3 billion, RBS’s strongest performance since 2009, albeit at lower overall margins as customers shift from standard variable rate to fixed rate products. Operating expenses were £4,177 million, remaining broadly stable against 2014. Operating expense excluding litigation and conduct costs of £972 million (2014 - £918 million) and restructuring costs of £167 million (2014 - £111 million) were 3% lower, while credit quality remained good, with modest net impairment releases.

 

Commercial Banking recorded an operating profit of £1,264 million, compared with £1,256 million in 2014. Deposit and lending volumes (net new lending of £3.6 billion excluding business transfers, run-off and disposals), contributed to a 1% rise in net interest income. Operating profit excluding litigation and conduct costs of £51 million (2014 - £112 million) and restructuring costs of £69 million (2014 - £108 million) was down 6% at £1,384 million, driven by a marginal fall in income reflecting margin pressure and included a Q4 2015 loss

 

5
 

 

2015 performance

 

 

of £34 million on the sale of non-strategic asset portfolios.

 

Ulster Bank RoI recorded an operating profit of £262 million compared with an operating profit of £489 million in 2014; the decline was primarily due to considerably lower net impairment releases in 2015. Operating profit excluding litigation and conduct costs (2015 - £13 million credit; 2014 - £19 million credit) and restructuring costs (2015 - £15 million; 2014 - £13 million) declined 45% to £264 million as net impairment releases, though still substantial, were lower than in 2014. Private Banking operating loss was £470 million compared with a profit of £99 million in 2014, while RBS International (RBSI) recorded an operating profit of £207 million, down 13%.

 

CIB reported an operating loss of £837 million in 2015, compared with an operating loss of £710 million in 2014, driven by lower income in line with the business’s reduced scale and risk appetite. Operating loss excluding £120 million relating to own credit adjustments (2014 - £9 million charge), restructuring costs of £524 million (2014 - £102 million) and litigation and conduct costs of £378 million (2014 - £832 million) was £55 million, compared with a profit of £233 million in 2014. Operating expenses were down 11% as CIB continues to move towards a more sustainable cost base.

 

Capital Resolution made an operating loss of £3,687 million, compared with a profit of £602 million in 2014. Operating loss excluding £175 million relating to own credit adjustments (2014 - £36 million charge), a loss on strategic disposals of £38 million, restructuring costs of £1,307 million (2014 - £185 million), together with litigation and conduct costs of £2,105 million (2014 - £162 million) and write-down of goodwill in 2014 of £130 million, was £412 million in 2015, compared with a profit of £1,115 million in 2014, reflecting increased disposal losses of £367 million, as it accelerated the run-down of its portfolios, reducing RWAs by almost half to £49.0 billion.

 

Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio improved 430 basis points to 15.5% in 2015, as RWAs declined by £113 billion, partially offset by the attributable loss and the accelerated recognition of previously committed contributions in relation to the The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Pension Fund following a change in accounting policy.

 

6
 

 

Delivering against our 2015 targets

 

 

Delivery against our 2015 targets

 

In 2015, RBS set out targets across its five strategic priorities, and continued its track record of delivery.

 

Strategy Goal 2015 targets 2015

Strength & sustainabiliy

 

Reduce risk-weighted assets (RWAs) to <£300 billion £243 billion, a reduction of £113 billion.
RCR exit substantially completed

Funded assets down 88% since initial pool of assets identified. Residual £4.6 billion of assets within Capital Resolution.

 

Citizens deconsolidation Sold full stake a year ahead of schedule, allowing full deconsolidation.
£2 billion AT1 issuance

Successfully issued US$3.15 billion

AT1 capital notes (£2 billion equivalent). 

Customer experience

 

Improve NPS in every UK franchise Year-on-year significant improvement in NatWest Business Banking, RBS Business Banking and Ulster Bank Personal Banking (NI).
Simplifying the bank Reduce costs by £800 million, target exceeded and increased to >£900 million Achieved £983 (1) million of cost savings.

Supporting growth

 

Lending growth in strategic segments 

≥ nominal UK GDP growth

4.8% growth achieved in UK PBB and Commercial Banking in 2015, exceeding nominal UK GDP growth (2).

Employee engagement

 

Raise employee engagement index to within 8% of Global Financial Services (GFS) norm Surpassed employee engagement goal, up six points to within three points of GFS.

Notes:

(1) Excluding litigation and conduct costs (2015 - £3,568; 2014 - £2,194 million), restructuring costs (2015 - £2,931 million; 2014 - £1,154 million), write down of goodwill and other intangible assets (2105 - £573 million; 2014 - £276 million) and other operating costs of Williams & Glyn (2015 - £261 million; £232 million). 

(2) Preliminary estimate for nominal UK GDP growth in 2015 is 2.6% year-on-year.

 

Balance sheet progress 

RBS continued to improve its capital strength, with the CET1 ratio increasing to 15.5% at 31 December 2015, up 430 basis points from 11.2% at 31 December 2014 and up 690 basis points from 8.6% at 31 December 2013. CET1 ratio benefited from the disposal of Citizens and Capital Resolution’s performance in running off and disposing of capital intensive assets, partly offset by the attributable loss and the pension accounting policy change.

 

The leverage ratio rose to 5.6% at 31 December 2015, an improvement of 140 basis points from 4.2% at 31 December 2014 and 220 basis points from 3.4% at 31 December 2013, assisted by the successful issuance of Additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital notes in August 2015 and a substantial reduction in leverage exposure to £702 billion, down £237 billion from 31 December 2014 and £380 billion from 31 December 2013. Planned 2016 issuance of £2 billion AT1 capital notes, subject to market conditions, will provide further balance sheet resilience. In addition, issuance of £3-5 billion of senior debt, eligible to meet RBS’s Minimum Requirement for Own Funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL), is targeted from the RBS Group plc holding company, again subject to market conditions.

 

Progress was made in de-risking the balance sheet as the bank continued the run-down or sale of certain businesses and higher risk or capital intensive assets. RWAs decreased from £356 billion at 31 December 2014 to £243 billion at 31 December 2015.

 

In 2015 RBS:

·Completed the exit from Citizens a year ahead of schedule, reducing RWAs by £63 billion in the process and underlining our commitment to a UK market focus.

·Delivered strong progress in the first year of CIB Capital Resolution, reducing RWAs by £32.6 billion to 40.5 billion, exceeding its target RWA reduction of £25 billion. The business substantially exited the North American and Asia-Pacific (APAC) portfolios, and a partnership for our international customers was agreed with BNP Paribas as an alternative to the Global Transaction Services business. Agreed the sale of our Russian subsidiary which is due to complete in Q2 2016.

 

7
 

Delivering against our 2015 targets

 

 

·Achieved the run-down target of RCR a year ahead of schedule, reducing funded assets by 88% since the original pool of assets was identified, exceeding the targeted 85%, to £4.6 billion at 31 December 2015.

·Completed the first tranche of the international private banking business sale, with the final tranche due to complete in the first half of 2016.

·Improved the quality of its core loan books, primarily through the sale of commercial real estate and infrastructure portfolios in Commercial Banking and a buy-to-let portfolio in Ulster Bank RoI.

·Continued to progress the Williams & Glyn (W&G) divestment, submitting a banking license application to UK regulatory authorities in September 2015 and work continues on separation (although this will not now be achieved until after the previously announced Q1 2017). The Group remains committed to full divestment by the end of 2017.

 

Credit quality remained strong, with risk elements in lending (REIL) decreasing to £12.2 billion (3.9% of gross customer loans) at 31 December 2015, from £28.2 billion (6.8%) at 31 December 2014 and £39.4 billion (9.4%) at 31 December 2013. This reduction was primarily driven by disposals in Capital Resolution coupled with the recovering Irish economy.

 

In line with the progress to de-risk the balance sheet, committed exposures to the natural resources sectors have more than halved, with oil and gas in particular substantially reducing by 70% during 2015 to £6.6 billion. The majority of our emerging market exposures have declined following action on non-strategic activities, reducing by 75% our exposure to China and Russia. Reductions primarily reflected corporate loan portfolio disposal activity and the strategic direction of CIB.

 

Our funding and liquidity position remains strong, aided by the accelerated reduction of the Capital Resolution balance sheet. The liquidity coverage ratio was 136%, compared with 112% at 31 December 2014, whilst the net stable funding ratio was121% compared with 112% at 31 December 2014, both well above regulatory minima at the end of 2015.

 

The 2015 Bank of England stress test results concluded that RBS did not need to alter its capital plan, as sufficient steps had already been taken by RBS to strengthen its capital position.

 

8
 

 

Delivering for our customers

 

 

Delivering for our customers

 

Product proposition enhanced

·Investing in building deeper customer engagement through the launch of a new current account, ‘Reward’, which enables customers to receive 3% cashback on household bills for a monthly account fee of £3.

·Launched an innovative new home insurance product offering customers a fixed premium for three years, which we believe is a positive departure from industry practice.

·Committed to fair banking through making overdrafts more accessible to one million customers who are now eligible for overdrafts of £100 and £250.

·One of the first UK banks to offer the Government-led Help to Buy: ISA as we continue to help first time buyers.

 

Continue to lead on collaboration and innovation: 

·Launched Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) approved cards, becoming the first bank to achieve RNIB accreditation.

·Became the first UK bank to enable customers to use only their fingerprint to log into their phone banking app via Touch ID.

·Real time registration of our mobile banking app enabling customers to log in as they open their current account.

·One of the first UK banks to launch Apple Pay and subsequently created an Apple Watch app.

 

Supporting UK entrepreneurs and businesses: 

·Opened four Entrepreneur Hubs across the UK, increasing our involvement to seven, enabling entrepreneurs and small businesses to access free office space, mentoring and financial support, with a further five hubs to be opened in 2016.

·The Commercial Bank has issued 12,500 statements of appetite letters to our customers, offering up to £8 billion of new borrowing facilities.

 

Investing in our operational capabilities: 

·Enhanced our mortgage operations, including an online mortgage tracker application to improve customer experience, whilst increasing mortgage advisors by 21% from 803 to 974.

·Employed a new automated account- opening system to improve our onboarding process, accelerating end- to-end account opening times by 50% for business customers and 30% for commercial customers.

·Launched a new customer relationship management tool, enabling a single view of the customer.

·Planned £3.5 billion IT investment spend committed from 2015 to 2017 to improve core infrastructure and resilience whilst addressing innovation capabilities.

·Core technology platforms continued to be simplified with 370 applications and over 6,000 servers decommissioned.

 

Upgrading our points of presence: 

·Upgraded 322 branches and replaced 922 ATMs as the bank enhances customers’ experience.

·Customers in Ireland are benefiting from a joint venture with ‘An Post’, accessing 1,140 new points of presence.

·Continued to evolve the NatWest mobile app through Touch ID and the ability to apply for loans and savings products whilst enhancing the PAYM feature and ability to use Apple Pay. Active mobile users have increased 27% to 3.7 million in 2015.

·Broke with tradition to open 34 of the busiest branches in the UK during bank holidays.

·Launched an ‘online diary’ where customers can book an appointment with an advisor from the comfort of their own home.

 

Investing in our people: 

·Delivered leadership training to over 13,000 leaders through a comprehensive ‘Determined to Lead’ training programme.

·Around 5,500 front line staff completed certified banking skills programmes, with a further c.11,000 enrolled.

·Announced a target of having 30% female leaders in every business unit by 2020 and a further goal of a 50/50 spilt by 2030 across all levels of the business.

·Became the first bank to achieve Investing in Young People Accreditation.

 

Government shareholding 

On 4 August 2015, HM Treasury (HMT) sold 630 million RBS ordinary shares, its first sale since its initial investment in 2008.

 

On 8 October 2015, HMT converted the 51 billion B shares it held into 5.1 billion ordinary shares, further normalising the ownership structure of RBS. These new ordinary shares were admitted to the London Stock Exchange on 14 October 2015. HMT's economic interest was 72.6% at 31 December 2015.

 

Our current plan assumes that we will pay the final Dividend Access Share (DAS) dividend of £1,180 million, plus interest, during the first half of 2016, subject to final Board and PRA approval. This thereby effects the conversion of the DAS into a single ordinary share. This will further normalise the capital structure of the bank and remove a constraint on the resumption of capital distributions. The retirement of the DAS demonstrates the strategic progress of the bank and follows an initial payment of £320 million in 2014. The pro forma impact, at 31 December 2015, is approximately 50 basis points to the CET1 ratio.

 

9
 

 

2016 Targets

 

 

Pension Fund 

On 27 January 2016, the bank announced a change to its pensions accounting policy; in particular, the policy for determining whether or not it has an unconditional right to a refund of surpluses in its employee pension funds. As a result of this accounting change, a minimum funding requirement of £3.3 billion in respect of the Main scheme was recorded as a liability at 31 December 2015 representing the present value of deficit reduction contributions for 2016 to 2023 (£3.7 billion) less an asset ceiling of £400 million. The net post tax impact of the policy change, together with updated IAS 19 year-end scheme valuations, is approximately £1.6 billion or approximately 70 basis points on the CET1 ratio.

 

Separately, RBS has signed a memorandum of understanding with the RBS Group Pension Fund trustee to make a payment of £4.2 billion into the scheme. The pro-forma 2016 impact at point of payment is a further £400 million and approximately 30 basis points on the CET1 ratio.

 

The accelerated payment improves capital planning and resilience, bringing forward the valuation date not later than 31 December 2015. The next valuation date will take place between 31 October 2018 and 31 December 2018, with any future funding arrangements needed to be agreed with the Trustee no later than Q1 2020. This provides increased certainty on contribution commitments and the pension balance sheet position. Subject to PRA approval, the bank expects the adverse core capital impact to be partially offset by a reduction in RBS’s core capital requirements. Any such potential core capital offsets are likely to occur at the earliest 1 January 2017 and will depend on the PRA’s assessment of RBS’s core capital position at that time.

 

Current trading

PBB (consisting of the reportable segments UK PBB and Ulster Bank RoI) and CPB (consisting of the reportable segments Commercial Banking, Private Banking and RBSI), have traded in line with expectations in the first six weeks of 2016. CIB has had a difficult start to the year, given overall market conditions.

 

The net impact of lower long term yields and year to date sterling weakness have contributed to earnings volatility, reflected in certain line items such as IFRS volatility, own credit adjustments and foreign exchange gains/losses.

 

10
 

 

2016 Targets

 

 

 

Outlook 

In our core PBB (consisting of the reportable segments UK PBB and Ulster Bank RoI) and CPB (consisting of the reportable segments of Commercial Banking, Private Banking and RBSI), we expect income to stabilise in 2016 as headwinds from low interest rates and the uncertain macroeconomic environment are balanced by strong planned volume growth, particularly in mortgages but also in core commercial lending. CIB may see some modest further income erosion. Cost savings of £800 million are planned in 2016 (in addition to the £2 billion achieved in 2014 and 2015). Our expectation is for cost reduction to exceed any income erosion across our combined core businesses.

 

Legacy credit portfolios have now been substantially disposed of, so we do not expect the considerable recoveries seen in 2014 and 2015 to be repeated and some portfolios may see net impairment charges. However, impairments on core portfolios are expected to remain low in 2016, with a modest overall net impairment charge for the year, though we recognise that the risk of larger single name events has increased, given the uncertain macroeconomic environment.

 

Previous guidance has indicated restructuring costs of approximately £5 billion and disposal losses of approximately £1.5 billion in the period 2015-19. Consistent with this, restructuring costs are expected to remain high in 2016, totalling over £1 billion. Most of the remaining signalled disposal losses are expected to be incurred in 2016 (2015 - £367 million). Capital Resolution is expected to reduce RWAs to around £30 billion by the end of 2016, ahead of our original plan, despite a more difficult economic environment for disposals, given the momentum we created in 2015, and continued substantial run-off activity.

 

We continue to deal with a range of uncertainties in the external environment, including those caused by the referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union. We will also have to manage conduct-related investigations and litigation, including US RMBS, throughout 2016, and substantial incremental provisions may be recognised during the year.

 

Work continues on the separation of Williams & Glyn, but this will now not be achieved until after Q1 2017. The Group remains committed to full divestment by the end of 2017, although it continues to face significant challenges and risks in separating the Williams & Glyn business, some of which may only emerge as various separation process phases are progressed. The Williams & Glyn separation process is a high priority for the Group and involves the diversion of Group resources away from other key areas. The associated risks are discussed in more detail in the Risk Factors on pages 384 to 409.

 

RBS plans to return excess capital to shareholders through dividends or buybacks, subject to Board and PRA approval at the time. Key milestones before seeking such approval for capital distributions would include, among other considerations: passing the 2016 Bank of England stress test (including our Individual Capital Guidance hurdle); operating within our capital risk appetite; passing the peak of litigation and conduct costs including US RMBS; confidence in sustainable profitability; and an assured exit of Williams & Glyn. Given the challenges in separating Williams & Glyn and the potentially elongated period to resolve US RMBS- related litigation claims and regulatory investigations, we now consider it more likely that capital distributions will resume later than Q1 2017.

 

11
 

 

Our progress in 2015

 

 

Our progress in 2015

 

We have a clear ambition to become No.1 for customer service, trust and advocacy. In 2015, our focus has been on Cost, Capital, Restructuring and Resilience. We have also begun the process of making RBS a simpler place to work and an easier bank to do business with.

 

Reward Account 3% 

New banking proposition launched: ‘Reward’ offering customers 3% cashback on their household bills.

 

Fair Banking 

Launched an innovative new home product offering customers a fixed premium for three years, which we believe is a positive departure from industry practice.

 

Account opening efficiency 

New automated account opening process has increased our onboarding process efficiency, with end-to-end account opening times falling by 50% for business customers and 30% for Commercial customers.

 

Simple IT 

Core technology platforms continued to be simplified with 370 applications and over 6,000 servers decommissioned.

 

Financial inclusion 

Launched the fee-free Foundation account to better support unbanked individuals in the UK.

 

Innovation 

First UK bank to enable customers to login to their mobile banking app using only their fingerprint.

 

Determined to make a difference 

Comprehensive campaign started in October 2015 placing emphasis on personal determination and accountability. 13,000 leaders went through our Determined to Lead training programme to ensure a consistent approach to decision making.

 

Real time registration 

This enables customers to have access to mobile banking as they open their current account. Active mobile users have increased 27% to 3.7 million.

 

Branches refurbished 

Branch Transformation programme – 322 branches refurbished, 922 ATMs replaced.

 

Independent Lending Review (ILR) 

Progress is available on rbs.com

 

Supporting employment 

Increased the number of apprentices from 50 to over 300.

 

Online diary 

Launched an ‘online diary’ where customers can book an appointment with an advisor from the comfort of their own home.

 

Entrepreneurial Hubs 

In partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark, RBS has opened four Entrepreneurial Hubs across the UK, increasing our involvement to seven, enabling entrepreneurs and small businesses to access free office space, mentoring and financial support, with a further five hubs to be opened in 2016.

 

Accessible banking 

First banking product to be awarded ‘RNIB approved’ as RBS launched new cards specifically designed for blind and partially sighted customers.

 

12
 

 

Chairman’s statement

 

 

 

“The Board’s strategy for this bank is straightforward: a simpler bank focused on doing fewer things, and doing them well, built around a low risk UK and Irish retail and commercial bank.”

 

“Our brand franchises are strong and distinctive and there is much to build on as we refocus RBS on its core markets in the British Isles.”

 

I took over as Chairman in September 2015, so much of the business transacted by the Board during the year predated my arrival.

 

For most of the year the Board was chaired by my predecessor, Philip Hampton; it is right, therefore, to begin by thanking him for his service to the company since 2009.

 

Philip would be the first to acknowledge that the period was not an easy one for the bank or its shareholders. The recovery from the financial crisis has taken longer than foreseen and there is still much work to be done. However, Philip led the Board with calm authority through many challenging episodes and earned the respect and gratitude of his colleagues and successive teams of executives. We all wish him well in his new role as chair of the GSK Board.

 

Strategy 

The Board’s strategy for this bank is straightforward: a simpler bank focused on doing fewer things, and doing them well, built around a low risk UK and Irish retail and commercial bank; a stronger bank with a long term target of at least 13% CET1 ratio; and a fair bank that meets customers’ needs, with a target to be seen as the best UK bank for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020.

 

I am therefore pleased to note the progress that management have made in delivering that strategy across all our businesses including the accelerated downsizing of the investment bank announced in February 2015. This reshaping exercise remains one of the foremost priorities for the Board, and while the disposal process is ahead of plan we continue to pay close attention to it. There are as many risks involved in exiting businesses as there are in entering them.

 

As part of the reshaping, RBS Capital Resolution (RCR) was established in 2013 to separate and wind down capital intensive assets. Rapid progress has continued during 2015, and the target of removing 85% of these assets from the balance sheet by the end of 2016 was achieved a year earlier than planned. The RCR Oversight Committee met for its final meeting in January 2016 to finalise the transfer of remaining assets and the closure of RCR.

 

Any company must have mixed feelings about a reduction of its activities on this scale but I note that a number of other banking groups, especially in Europe, have now reached similar conclusions about the need to cut back their investment banking activities faced with ever-increasing capital and leverage requirements and a challenging competitive environment.

 

I am pleased to report that one exit was successfully achieved during the year. The Board decided in 2013 that Citizens Financial Group (CFG) was not an integral part of the bank in the longer term and resolved to float it through an IPO, and eventually to sell all the equity. The sale was achieved in stages, with the final tranche sold at the end of October 2015. The outcome was a good one for the bank’s shareholders and we wish the Board of CFG success as they embark on life as a wholly independent entity.

 

There is one other major divestment programme under way on which important progress was made during the year. As a condition of the state aid made available to RBS in 2008 the European Commission required the bank to divest over 300 branches in the UK as a standalone banking entity to be known as Williams & Glyn.

 

The necessary application for a new banking licence was made in September 2015, a major step on the route to separation. While our planned separation will not now be achieved until after the previously announced Q1 2017, we remain committed to full divestment by the end of 2017. The Board exercises close oversight of this programme, which is uniquely challenging, especially from an IT perspective.

 

 

13
 

Chairman’s statement

 

 

The strategy for the remainder of the bank, including The Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Coutts, Ulster Bank in Ireland, RBS International in Jersey and other linked entities, remained essentially unchanged through the year. The responsible executives make regular presentations to the Board on progress against their objectives, and a strategy offsite was held in June 2015, at which progress was reviewed in greater detail. While the strategic direction for the core businesses is clear, the bank continues to execute a major transformation programme, designed to reduce costs and enhance IT capability. That is an essential element of strategic delivery.

 

Conduct, regulation, and litigation 

Over the past seven years the global regulatory and supervisory environment for banks has changed beyond all recognition, a necessary reaction to the parlous state in which many in the industry, notably RBS, had found themselves in 2008.

 

Banks have responded to the changes, and capital levels and other loss absorbency tools have been transformed. The Board has provided detailed oversight of the bank’s capital management capacity, which involved reviewing the outputs of stress tests, recovery and resolution plans, and defining the bank’s continuing risk appetite. We are firmly committed to being a strongly capitalised entity, meeting the requirements imposed on us by our many regulators.

 

I would observe, however, that a period of stability and reflection on the new rules, alongside some assessment of their overall impact, will be welcome. That would also allow banks more opportunity to look at how we finance the rest of the economy and hence support growth.

 

As is the case for other major banks domiciled in the UK, our future operations will be materially affected by the requirement to ring-fence the retail and commercial banking activities, following the legislation to implement the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking. The restructuring will have an important impact on the way we serve our customers, so the Board has devoted considerable time to the oversight of the plans developed to erect the ring fence, which must be in place by the end of 2018.

 

Another key element of the Board’s role relates to the significant conduct issues which the bank has experienced, and continues to face. These costs have materially delayed our return to profitability. So a very high priority for the Board is to resolve legacy issues and oversee the implementation of strengthened control frameworks to guard against future misconduct.

 

Specifically, in May 2015 the Board authorised the bank’s settlements with the Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve in relation to investigations into its foreign exchange business. We regret the conduct which led to those settlements. Appropriate remediation policies have since been put in place.

 

Throughout the year the Board has received regular reports on other litigation, and a number of settlements have been reached on terms which the Board regarded as acceptable. Particular attention has been paid to the claims and investigations related to the origination and trading of US mortgage-backed securities, dating back to 2007, raised by the Department of Justice, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration, and several state Attorneys General. Although we have put aside substantial provisions for mortgage-backed securities litigation claims we have not provided for the Department of Justice and state Attorneys General investigations. It is not possible at this point to forecast when these claims and investigations will be resolved or at what ultimate cost but further substantial provisions may be required.

 

The Board has also overseen the response to the action raised by the 2008 rights issue Shareholders Action Groups. That case is unlikely to come to court before the end of 2016.

 

In 2015 a Board oversight committee was established in relation to the Financial Conduct Authority review of the treatment of SME customers referred to the bank’s Global Restructuring Group. As I write, that review is still under way.

 

The Future 

Shareholders, including of course the UK government through UK Financial Investments, are well aware that it is now seven years since RBS posted a profit or paid a dividend. It would be good to be able to promise both in the near future, but while potentially large US settlements remain outstanding it would be imprudent to do so.

 

What I can say is that the future shape of the bank is now far clearer than it was a year ago. We are well on the way to exiting the non-core elements of the business, and the divestments are proceeding well. We can also see signs of progress in the core business, especially in the mortgage market, though all retail and commercial banks find a very low interest rate environment one in which margins and profits are under pressure.

 

The bank’s ambition to be number one in our chosen markets for customer service, trust and advocacy is stretching, but it focuses the attention of all our staff on the right things, and there are promising signs that staff morale is responding positively to the challenge. Our brand franchises are strong and distinctive and there is much to build on as we refocus RBS on its core markets in the British Isles. At the same time, we need to reduce our cost base, and embed a new risk culture which will guard against a recurrence of the failings and bad behavior which have held us back in the past.

 

14
 

 

Chairman’s statement

 

 

The Board is firmly behind the strategy, and believes that we have the right management in place to deliver it. There are of course varying risks and uncertainties, which we set out in the accompanying company risk disclosures, so our role is to be supportive, while also exercising strong oversight of the risk appetite and control frameworks, to protect the long-term interests of shareholders.

 

I have been impressed by the focus on culture and diversity at RBS. To deliver on the strategy we need to have a culture that puts customers at the heart of the business and places a premium on integrity. This is a long-term journey but it is central to making RBS a bank that is growing and flourishing for its customers and shareholders. Central to culture is diversity, which drives innovation and improves decision making, and I am pleased to see the emphasis in the business on ensuring women take a significant number of roles throughout the bank and at all levels.

 

Looking forward into 2016 and beyond RBS, there are a number of macroeconomic and political risks and uncertainties which are set out in the accompanying risk disclosures. One key question for the UK electorate this year will be whether the UK should remain in the EU. We are a UK-focused bank, but we have good businesses operating in other EU countries such as Ulster Bank in Ireland and many of our business customers heavily depend on unfettered access to the European Single Market. Most economic forecasts therefore point to a slowdown in UK growth, at least in the short to medium term, which would be unwelcome. Therefore, like any prudent business we are preparing for various potential scenarios. However, our primary responsibility is to serve and support our customers, and we will continue to do this, whichever way the UK electorate ultimately decide to vote.

 

Our role in the Community 

RBS is a core part of the communities it serves and undertakes a number of initiatives to support them and help them succeed. In 2015 the bank’s MoneySense programme, which provides impartial financial education for young people, celebrated its 21s anniversary. To mark the occasion, MoneySense was redeveloped and relaunched on a new digital platform with brand new content.

 

In 2015, we also spent a great deal of effort and resource supporting small businesses and encouraging start-ups. In partnership with social enterprise Entrepreneurial Spark we opened four new entrepreneur hubs, with a further six to be launched throughout the UK in the next two years, including one in our HQ in Edinburgh opened in February. These business accelerators, which are based in our buildings, provide start-ups with free office space, mentoring and access to our networks. 7,000 entrepreneurs will be supported in this way over five years, helping to grow the economy and create jobs. In Scotland, we have also been supporting local charities and social enterprises through use of vacant space in our retained branch network.

 

I am also impressed with the zeal with which the staff of RBS got on their bikes to support our chosen charity, Sport Relief. Over 700 colleagues got involved, raising over £600,000 in just five days, making the event the largest corporate fundraising event in Sport Relief’s history.

 

Conclusion 

Apart from the departure of Philip Hampton, the composition of the Board has remained unchanged through the year, though we welcomed a new member early in 2016: Mike Rogers, the CEO of Liverpool Victoria, who brings valuable retail financial services experience to the Board.

 

The particular challenges of RBS impose heavy burdens on the Board of directors. Their time commitment is unusually high, even by the rising standards of European banking. I am very impressed by the dedication and skills which my colleagues bring to the role. They all serve on more than one committee, and their workloads are intense. I look forward to continuing to lead such a motivated and diligent team as we continue the recovery process through 2016.

 

Howard Davies 

Chairman

 

15
 

Chief Executive’s review

 

 

 

 

“RBS made progress again in 2015. We ended the year a simpler, stronger bank with a business anchored squarely in the UK and Ireland focused on retail and commercial markets.”

 

Year one of our plan in 2014 was about getting cost out and improving our capital position. This gave us the platform to go further, faster in 2015 by exiting more businesses that didn’t fit our strategy, and accelerating improvements in our core bank. We delivered on both.

 

Simpler and stronger 

Over the last few years, RBS has built a good track record in restructuring and we reinforced that record in 2015. The sale of Citizens was completed early following the largest US bank IPO ever. We are well through the sale of our international private banking business, and are winding down our non-UK transaction services business. Major loan portfolios have been divested, and the progress continues on the complex process to exit 25 of the 38 countries in our international network. We also marked the end of RBS Capital Resolution (RCR), having substantially completed its run down one year ahead of schedule.

 

Our progress on exits and disposals has supported a substantial uplift in capital strength, with our CET1 ratio up by 430 basis points over the year to 15.5%.

 

Like other banks, we continue to look for opportunities to resolve legacy conduct issues on terms we believe to be acceptable. We have recently added to our provisions in relation to residential mortgage-backed securities in the US (RMBS) and Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). We hope to conclude many of the remaining substantial conduct and litigation issues over the coming year, but the timing of many of these matters is not in our hands.

 

An improving core bank  

As well as exiting businesses that don’t fit our strategy, we have made strong progress in improving our core retail and commercial franchises. Mortgage and commercial lending showed healthy growth over the year as we played a key role in supporting the UK economy.

 

Focus continues around simplifying processes as the scale and footprint of the bank is reshaped. At an operational level, we have reduced our London property footprint, further rationalised and simplified our systems, and increased stability across our core platforms. Simplification across the bank has helped reduce our cost base by £983(1)million this year.

 

We have also improved our products and service for customers. Our new current account proposition – Reward – is a further step forward in terms of our offering, with our customers receiving 3% cashback on their household bills. This product is geared toward building stronger and deeper customer relationships.

 

Across our franchises we demonstrated further commitment to becoming a fair bank that earns the trust and loyalty of its customers. We launched a progressive three year fixed premium rate home insurance product, made £100 and £250 overdrafts automatically available to an additional one million customers, and launched new cards for visually impaired customers that secured approval from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

 

Our underlying performance over the year shows the strength - and further potential - of our core businesses, but the conduct and restructuring issues mentioned have taken their toll on our bottom line. While adjusted operating profit for the year totalled £4,405(2) million, we recorded a full year loss attributable to ordinary shareholders of £1,979 million.

 

We went further, faster against our targets in 2015 

We have consistently referred to five priorities, which have become a familiar framework for tracking performance. This management team is committed to a simple approach: we set out our priorities, we commit to targets against each of them, and then we deliver, as we have set out on page 7.

 

For the note refer to the following page

 

16
 

Chief Executive’s review

 

 

2016 Targets 

Each year, the bank moves toward delivering stronger returns from a lower risk profile; our strategic priorities are at the core of this. For 2016, we have a new set of targets which ultimately underpin achieving the long-term target of being number one for customer service, trust and advocacy:

 

Our long-term financial and customer targets remain unchanged, but we have stretched our employee engagement target further. The logic we are following is simple: more engaged employees have better customer conversations, which will drive better service and, as a result, higher returns.

 

Strength & sustainability: 

maintain bank CET1 ratio of 13%.

Customer experience: 

narrow the gap to No.1 for NPS in every primary UK brand. 

Simplifying the bank: 

reduce operating expenses by £800 million. 

Supporting growth: 

net 4% growth in PBB (consisting of UK PBB and Ulster Bank RoI) and CPB (consisting of Commercial Banking, Private Banking and RBSI) customer loans. 

Employee engagement: 

raise employee engagement to within two points of GFS norm. 

 

Focus for 2016 

We are looking to take another £800 million from our cost base. This is an area where we must continue to be disciplined given the uncertain macroeconomic and low interest rate environment our core businesses face. In two years, we have taken out £2 billion in costs and next year will see us move closer to a sustainable cost base that reflects the size and scale of this bank.

 

Our ‘Reward’ current account proposition and increasing share of the mortgage market give us a platform to be the main bank provider to more valuable customers.

 

In Commercial Banking, we will continue to shift capital toward business that delivers higher quality returns, and cement our position as the number one bank for UK business.

 

RBS International is another strong franchise. The solid returns in this business will become an increasing feature of our profit mix over the coming years.

 

We also have businesses that can and will do better.

 

Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) has plans through to 2020 to deliver acceptable returns and will now be focused on serving our largest and most valuable corporate clients.

 

We have repositioned Ulster Bank with Ulster Bank customers in Northern Ireland included in Personal & Business Banking and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) business separated into Ulster Bank RoI. The franchise is focused on improving returns by reducing its costs, given it is now a smaller but safer business.

 

The sale of our international private banking business in 2015 means we can accelerate the repositioning of our UK private bank so it delivers better returns.

 

The separation and eventual divestment of Williams & Glyn remains a top priority for us. We will not now achieve our planned separation until after the previously announced Q1 2017 but remain committed to full divestment by the end of 2017. Separation of this business is a complex process and we continue to invest sizeable resources.

 

Delivering for customers and shareholders 

The UK government’s decision to start disposing of its majority stake in RBS during 2015 was a significant step forward, and underlined the progress we have made over the last two years.

 

We have previously said that we are in phase two of our plan, working through as many of the remaining conduct and restructuring issues as we can. This is a tough but important part of our plan and we are determined to get through it as quickly as possible.

 

We will then move to the third phase as a strong, simple and fair bank that delivers solidly on the needs of its customers and shareholders.

 

Ross McEwan 

Chief Executive

Note: 

(1)Excluding litigation and conduct costs (2015 - £3,568; 2014 - £2,194 million), restructuring costs (2015 - £2,931 million; 2014 - £1,154 million), write down of goodwill and other intangible assets (2015 - £573 million; 2014 - £276 million) and other operating costs of Williams & Glyn (2015 - £261 million; 2014 - £232 million).

(2)Income excludes gains on own credit adjustments of £309 million, loss on redemption of own debt £263 million and loss on strategic disposals of £157 million, and expenses excludes restructuring costs of £2,931 million, litigation and conduct costs of £3,568 million and write-down of goodwill of £498 million

 

17
 

Business model and strategy

 

 

Business model and strategy 

Our major source of income in our retail and commercial banking businesses is net interest income. This is the difference between the income we earn from the loans and advances we have made to our personal, corporate and institutional customers and on our surplus funds and the interest we pay on deposits placed with us by our customers and on debt securities we have issued. We also earn fees from financial services and other products we provide to our customers as well as rental income from assets we lease to our customers.

 

Our Corporate & Institutional Banking business also earns income from trading activities supporting its provision of financing and risk management services to customers, particularly Rates, Currencies and Financing. We do business in competitive markets but we have strong franchises and good growth opportunities, and we aim to target our investment to maximise these opportunities.

 

Our Personal & Business Banking (consisting of reportable segments UK PBB and Ulster Bank RoI) and Commercial & Private Banking (consisting of reportable segments of Commercial Banking, Private Banking and RBSI) franchises provide services to over 17 million personal and business customers in the UK and to over 1 million personal and business customers in the Republic of Ireland. Our Corporate & Institutional Banking business focuses on large corporate clients operating in the UK and Western Europe, as well as serving global financial institutions.

 

18
 

Our Structure

 

 

Our Structure 

We are organised to provide products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers. Our principal customer-facing businesses are supported by a central Services function and other support and control functions.

 

 

  

19
 

 

Our Strategy

 

  

Note:

(1)Earliest possible timing is likely to be later than Q1 2017, subject to Board and PRA approval. Key milestones before seeking PRA approval for capital distributions would include, among other considerations, maintaining the 13% CET1 ratio target, passing regulatory capital requirements, pass 2016 Bank of England stress test (including Individual Capital Guidance hurdle) and operating within capital risk appetite, peak of litigation and conduct costs passed including US RMBS, confidence in sustainable profitability, and Williams & Glyn exit assured

 

Our Priorities

We have a long way to go to be the bank that our customers deserve. But we are in a period of very significant, positive change. We have millions of great customers, tens of thousands of outstanding employees. By building on this foundation, we can achieve our ambition to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy in all our chosen markets.

 

Our Plan 

Our overarching ambition is to become the number one bank for customer service, trust and advocacy. We have set out how we track our progress towards this goal on page 22. We also track a number of other performance measures and have set long-term targets for these to keep us on track.

 

  Our long-term targets Our 2016 goals
Strength and sustainability

  CET1 ratio of 13% (1)

  RoTE ≥12%

Maintain bank CET1 ratio of 13%
Customer experience   No.1 for service, trust and advocacy

Narrow the gap to No.1 for NPS in every primary UK brand

Simplifying the bank Cost:income ratio <50% Reduce operating expenses by £800m (2)
Supporting growth Leading market positions in every franchise Net 4% growth in PBB and CPB customer loans
Employee engagement Employee engagement index in upper quartile of GFS norm Raise employee engagement to within two points of GFS norm

Notes: 

(1)During the period of restructuring.

(2)Excluding litigation and conduct costs (2015 - £3,568; 2014 - £2,194 million), restructuring costs (2015 - £2,931 million; 2014 - £1,154 million), write down of goodwill and other intangible assets (2015 - £573 million; 2014 - £276 million) and other operating costs of Williams & Glyn (2015 - £261 million; 2014 - £232 million).

 

20
 

 

Our Operating Model

 

 

We have a clear set of Organisation Design principles that underpin our operating model, structures and accountabilities.

 

 

Our Values 

Our Values are universal and guide our actions every day, in every part of our business. The values are the foundation of how we work at RBS.

 

Serving customers Doing the right thing

We exist to serve customers.

 

We do the right thing.

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

 

We take risk seriously and manage it prudently.

 

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

Working together

 

Thinking long term
We care for each other and work best as one team. We know we succeed only when our customers and communities succeed.

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

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

 

21
 

 

Our customers

 

 

Our Customers

 

RBS remains committed to achieving its target of being number one bank for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020. In recent years, RBS has launched a number of initiatives to make it a simple and fair bank to do business with, and it continues to deliver on the commitments that it made to its customers in 2014.

 

We use independent surveys to measure our customers’ experience and track our progress against our goal in each of our markets.

 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

 

Customers are asked how likely they would be to recommend their bank to a friend or colleague, and respond based on a 0-10 scale with 10 indicating ‘extremely likely’ and 0 indicating ‘not at all likely’. Customers scoring 0 to 6 are termed detractors and customers scoring 9 to 10 are termed promoters. NPS is established by subtracting the proportion of detractors from the proportion of promoters.

 

The table below lists all of the businesses for which we have a NPS for Q4 2015. Year-on- year, NatWest Business Banking, RBS Business Banking and Ulster Bank Personal Banking (Northern Ireland) have seen significant improvements in NPS.

 

 

 

Customer trust 

We also use independent experts to measure our customers’ trust in the bank. Each quarter we ask customers to what extent they trust or distrust their bank to do the right thing. The score is a net measure of those customers that trust their bank (a lot or somewhat) minus those that distrust their bank (a lot or somewhat). Customer trust in RBS is at its highest in two years and NatWest has also improved.

 

 

 

Notes:

 

(1)Source: GfK FRS 6 month rolling data. Latest base sizes: NatWest (England & Wales) (3509) Royal Bank of Scotland (Scotland) (623). 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?“

 

(2)Source: Coyne Research 12 MAT data. Latest base sizes: Ulster Bank NI (300) Ulster bank RoI (302) 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”.

 

(3)Source: Charterhouse Research Business Banking Survey, based on interviews with businesses with an annual turnover up to £2 million. Quarterly rolling data. Latest base sizes: NatWest England & Wales (1352), RBS Scotland (432). Weighted by region and turnover to be representative of businesses in England & Wales/Scotland.

 

(4)Source: PWC Northern Ireland Business Banking Tracker and PWC Republic of Ireland Business Banking Tracker. Data collected annually. Latest base sizes: Ulster Bank NI (377), Ulster Bank RoI (222). Weighted by turnover to be representative of businesses in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

 

(5)Source: Charterhouse Research Business Banking Survey, based on interviews with businesses with annual turnover between £2 million and £1 billion. Latest base size: RBSG Great Britain (872). Weighted by region and turnover to be representative of businesses in Great Britain.

 

(6)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: NatWest, England & Wales (974), RBS Scotland (187).

 

 

22
 

 

Key economic indicators

 

 

Key economic indicators 

The UK economy grew by 2.2% in 2015, its average of the last 40 years. In a healthy job market, the number of people in work rose by more than 500,000 and unemployment fell to 5.1%. For the first time in six years there was meaningful wage growth, averaging 2.0%. Businesses’ profits were as strong as at any point since the 1990s, at least outside the oil and gas sector, and business investment continued to rise. House prices grew by around 8%.

 

 

Summary 

Despite this generally positive environment, inflation hovered around 0% throughout the year. Most of the weakness in inflation was a consequence of falling commodity prices and the effects of the depreciation in sterling since 2013. However, some of it reflected spare capacity in firms and in the labour market that contained domestic cost growth. Low inflation was one important reason why Bank Rate remained unchanged throughout the year at 0.5%, where it has been since March 2009. During early 2016, the date at which markets expected Bank Rate to rise ranged from 2017 to 2020, materially later than expectations in mid-2015. During early 2016, the date at which markets expected Bank Rate to rise ranged from 2017 to 2020, materially later than expectations in mid-2015.

 

Driven by strong export performance, growth in Ireland accelerated sharply to around 7.0% in the first three quarters of 2015, its fastest rate since before the crisis. Unemployment fell to under 10%, which, while materially below the recession peak of 15% remains high by the standards of the past. House price inflation moderated from 16.3% in 2014 to 6.6%, reflecting a continuing imbalance between supply and demand.

 

Growth in the wider euro area accelerated modestly to more than 1.0%. However, with inflation close to zero and unemployment averaging more than 11%, the European Central Bank launched a programme of quantitative easing. That programme will continue until September 2016 at the earliest. In the US, growth was 2.4%, the same as in 2014, and unemployment fell to 5%. Inflation was close to zero throughout the year. In December, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise the Federal Funds Target Rate by 0.25% to a range of 0.25%-0.5%.

 

In emerging markets, notably China, growth slowed sharply during the year, although this was not always reflected in official data. During 2015 and again in early 2016, market volatility rose because of concerns about prospects in China and other emerging markets and the possible consequences of slower growth there for advanced economies. Weaker emerging market growth contributed to slow trade growth.

 

23
 

Business review

 

 

Business review 

RBS is structured around becoming number one for service, trust and advocacy as we meet the ambitions and needs of our retail, business, commercial and corporate customers. Organised under three customer-facing franchises, our core businesses are centred around the UK and Ireland markets with a focused international capability. 

·Personal & Business Banking (PBB) comprises two reportable segments: UK Personal & Business Banking (UK PBB) and Ulster Bank RoI.

·Commercial & Private Banking (CPB) comprises three reportable segments: Commercial Banking, Private Banking and RBS International (RBSI).

·Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) serving our largest corporate and institutional clients.

 

In addition, RBS will continue to manage and report Capital Resolution separately until disposal or wind down.

 

24
 

Personal & Business Banking

 

 

Personal & Business Banking (includes reportable segments UK PBB and Ulster Bank RoI) – contribution to income of 45%

Les Matheson 

CEO, Personal & Business Banking

 

Personal & Business Banking (PBB) serves individual and mass affluent customers together with small businesses (generally up to £2 million turnover). PBB’s principal brands are NatWest in England and Wales, Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland, and Ulster Bank RoI in the island of Ireland. The operations of Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland have been combined with the main UK business.

 

Performance overview 

·PBB recorded an operating profit of £1,292 million in 2015, down 20% from 2014, (UK PBB £1,030 million, down 9% from 2014, Ulster Bank RoI £262, down 46% from 2014), with good asset growth offset by pressure on new business margins and higher costs for restructuring the business and remedying past conduct issues.

 

·Customer lending grew by 5% to £136.5 billion, with good growth also recorded in customer deposits, up 2% to £150.9 billion (In UK PBB customer lending grew by 7% to £119.8 billion, customer deposits, increased by 4% to £137.8 billion, Ulster Bank RoI customer lending declined 8% to £16.7 billion, customer deposits declined by 11% to £13.1 billion). While deposit margins widened, overall net interest margin was lower as competitive conditions and the increased proportion of lower margin mortgage lending reduced asset margins.

 

·Operating expenses of £4,606 million included £959 million of provisions for customer redress, principally in relation to Payment Protection Insurance, as well as £182 million of restructuring costs. Operating expenses excluding restructuring costs and litigation and conducts were £3,465 million, down 3% from 2014. (UKPBB operating expenses excluding restructuring costs of £167 million (2014 - £111 million) and litigation and conduct costs of £972 million (2014 - £918 million) were £3,038 million, down 3% from 2014, Ulster Bank RoI operating expenses excluding restructuring costs of £15 million (2014 - £13 million) and litigation and conduct recoveries of £13 million (2014 - £19 million) were £427 million, unchanged from 2014).

 

·Credit conditions remained benign, with modest net impairment releases in the UK and substantial releases in RoI, albeit lower than in 2014.

 

Building a better bank that serves customers well 

·In 2015 PBB moved to build deeper customer engagement through the launch of a new current account, ‘Reward’, which enables customers to receive 3% cashback on their household bills for a monthly account fee of £3.

 

·Committed to fair banking through making overdrafts more accessible to one million customers who are now eligible for overdrafts of £100 and £250.

 

·PBB continued to improve and develop the NatWest mobile banking app, becoming the first UK bank to enable customers to log in using their fingerprint with Touch ID and adding enhanced functionality on real time registration, Apple Pay and PAYM.

 

  2015   2014
Performance highlights UK PBB Ulster Bank RoI PBB   UK PBB Ulster Bank RoI PBB
Return on equity (%)  11.7 10.6 11.4    11.9 18.6 13.7
Net interest margin (%)    3.18 1.57 2.93      3.32 1.92 3.10
Cost:income ratio (%) 80 78 80   76 70 76
Operating profit (£m) 1,030 262 1,292   1,133 489 1,622
Operating expenses (£m) (4,177) (429) (4,606)   (4,157) (421) (4,578)
Restructuring costs (£m) (167) (15) (182)   (111) (13) (124)
Litigation and conduct costs (£m) (972) 13 (959)   (918) 19 (899)
Operating profit excluding restructuring and litigation and conduct costs (£m) 2,169 264 2,433   2,162 483 2,645
Operating expenses excluding restructuring and litigation and conduct costs (£m) (3,038) (427) (3,465)   (3,128) (427) (3,555)
Net loans and advances to customers (£bn)      119.8 16.7 136.5        111.6 18.1 129.7
Customer deposits (£bn)       137.8 13.1 150.9         132.6 14.7 147.3
Loan:deposit ratio (%)    87 127 90      84 124 88
Risk-weighted assets (£bn)     33.3 19.4 52.7        36.6 21.8 58.4

 

25
 

Case studies

 

 

A new way to pay 

With Apple Pay, customers can now shop using just their mobile phone. NatWest was one of the first banks to make the service available to UK customers, and thanks to this partnership between the bank and Apple, customers can now use their Apple devices to pay for goods in shops, make payments in apps and pay fares on the London transport system while travelling around the city.

 

Not only is Apple Pay convenient, but customers earn the same rewards they would get using their RBS or NatWest debit or credit cards.

 

So now if you leave your wallet at home, it need not ruin your day.

 

 

 

Very rewarding 

Customers want banking to be simple and straightforward – and to be rewarded for their loyalty. It’s never fair when new customers get all the best deals. Our new Reward account is benefiting customers old and new, who choose to do their everyday banking with us. There are no catches, or complicated terms and conditions. For a small fee all customers can earn 3% cashback on up to seven household bills paid by direct debit. That means anyone paying household bills of more than £100 a month will cover the monthly Reward fee, and the more you pay out for your bills, the more you earn. It really is that simple.

 

 

26
 

Commercial & Private Banking 

 

 

Commercial & Private Banking (includes reportable segments Commercial Banking, Private Banking and RBSI) contribution to income of 33%

 

Alison Rose

CEO, Commercial & Private Banking

 

Commercial & Private Banking (CPB) serves commercial and corporate customers, operating principally through the NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland brands, and high net worth individuals, through Coutts and Adam & Co. In Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, RBS International serves a range of retail, commercial, corporate and financial institution customers. CPB aims to support the UK and Western European economies through its provision of credit and banking services to help businesses grow.

 

Performance overview

·CPB recorded an operating profit of £1,001 million, down £592 million or 4% ( Commercial Banking – up £8 million, 1%, Private Banking – down £569 million, RBSI - down £31 million, 13%). Operating profit excluding restructuring, litigation and conduct costs and write down of goodwill was £1,708 million down 11%. (Commercial Banking – down £92 million, 6%, Private Banking – down £77 million, 41%, RBSI – down £34 million, 14%). CPB operating profit of £1,001 million was impacted by a goodwill impairment charge of £498 million attributed to Private Banking.

 

·In CPB total income declined by 3% to £4,265 million. In Commercial Banking total income declined by 2%, driven by a loss of £34 million from the sale of non-strategic asset portfolios and the transfer of the commercial cards business to UK PBB in 2014. In Private Banking total income declined by 7% to £644 million principally reflecting reduced fee income. In RBSI total income declined by 6% to £367 million principally reflecting lower deposit margins and lower return on free funds.

 

·Good growth was achieved in lending to UK businesses. Commercial Banking achieved net new lending of £1.4 billion, while continuing to run down some non-strategic portfolios. Pressure on new business lending margins was partially offset by deposit repricing.

 

·In CPB operating expenses of £3,182 million included £146 million of restructuring costs (up 26% from 2014), £63 million of conduct and litigation costs (down 69% from 2014) and write-down of goodwill of £498 million. This included restructuring costs of £69 million relating to Commercial Banking, down 36%, £73 million relating to Private Banking and £4 million relating to RBSI, down 43%, litigation and conduct costs of £51 million relating to Commercial Banking down 54% and £12 million relating to Private Banking down 87% and write-down of goodwill of £498 million, all relating to Private Banking. Operating expenses excluding restructuring, litigation and conduct costs and write down of goodwill increased by 3% to £2,475 million. (Commercial Banking increased by 3% to £1,801 million, Private Banking increased by 3% to £518 million and RBSI increased by 2% to £156 million).

 

·Impairment losses were £82 million, in line with the modest impairments experienced in 2014, (Commercial Banking £69 million, Private Banking £13 million and RBSI - nil).

 

Building a better bank that serves customers well 

·Commercial Banking made progress towards improving customer experience by becoming easier and simpler to do business with through operational investment and process simplifications.

 

·Continued enhancements within the business contributed to commercial lending growth in 2015.

 

·Opened four Entrepreneur Hubs across the UK, increasing our involvement to seven, enabling entrepreneurs and small businesses to access free office space, mentoring and fi support, with a further fi e hubs to be opened in 2016.

 

·Private Banking is being refocused on its UK connected customers, with a simpler operating model and new customer propositions for wealthy individuals and families. Closer links with Commercial Banking have driven an increase in client referrals.

 

27
 

Commercial & Private Banking

 

 

  2015   2014
Performance highlights Commercial Banking

Private

Banking

RBSI

 

CPB   Commercial Banking Private Banking

RBSI

 

CPB
Return on equity (%) 9.8 (27.7) 18.5 5.8   10.2 4.1 24.2 10.6
Net interest margin (%) 1.88 2.75 1.48 1.92   1.91 2.89 1.65 1.99
Cost:income ratio (%) 59 171 44 75   59 86 41 62
Net loans and advances to customers (£bn) 91.3 11.2 7.3 109.8   84.9 11.0 7.2 103.1

Customer deposits (£bn)

 

88.9 23.1 21.3 133.3   84.9 22.3 20.8 128.0
Loan:deposit ratio (%) 103 48 35 82   100 49 35 80
Risk-weighted assets (£bn) 72.3 8.7 8.3 89.3   63.2 8.7 7.5 79.4
Operating profit (£m) 1,264 (470) 207 1,001   1,256 99 238 1,593
Operating expenses (£m) (1,921) (1,101) (160) (3,182)   (1,964) (595) (160) (2,719)
Restructuring costs (£m) (69) (73) (4) (146)   (108) (1) (7) (116)
Litigation and conduct costs (£m) (51) (12) - (63)   (112) (90) - (202)
Write down of goodwill - (498) - (498)   - - - -

Operating profit excluding restructuring, litigation and conduct costs and write down of goodwill (£m)

 

1,384 113 211 1,708   1,476 190 245 1,911
Operating expenses excluding restructuring, litigation and conduct costs and write down of goodwill (£m) (1,801) (518) (156) (2,475)   (1,744) (504) (153) (2,401)

 

28
 

Case studies 

 

 

A campus fit for a king 

Established in 1829, King’s College London has an illustrious history, with alumni including John Keats and Florence Nightingale. The University wanted to raise £135 million to invest in its Strand campus, and returned to the private placement market to deliver. “Since our foundation we’ve banked with RBS, so we have a long and trusted relationship,” explains Stephen Large, Director of Finance at King’s College London. “I’m proud of the difference the redevelopment will make to the University, future generations of students and the local community.”This strong relationship helped the bank and the University work together to raise the funding to redevelop the campus and create a new business school.

 

 

 

Home sweet home 

Moving house can be stressful. Then, once you find the right home, you then need to switch energy supplier, set up your broadband and manage your home. Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) is a digital media and lead generation platform that owns and operates some of the UK’s most widely recognised and trusted digital brands including Zoopla, uSwitch and PrimeLocation. Its mission is to be the most useful resource for consumers and the most effective marketing channel for related business partners. Acquiring price comparison website uSwitch in June 2015 allowed ZPG to develop its combined services and become the consumer champion at the heart of the home. RBS supported the acquisition by acting as Mandated Lead Arranger in a £150 million four-bank arrangement. Thanks to the successful deal, ZPG can now help its consumers make smarter decisions when finding, moving or managing their home.

 

 

29
 

Corporate & Institutional Banking

 

 

Corporate & Institutional Banking contribution to income of 12%

 

Chris Marks

CEO, Corporate & Institutional Banking

 

The Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) business has a core focus on UK and Western Europe corporates and global financial institutions, shaped around three product lines: Rates, Currencies and Financing. The business is undergoing a multi- year transformation, which was launched in 2015.

 

Performance overview 

·CIB reported an operating loss of £837 million, compared with a loss of £710 million in 2014. Operating loss excluding restructuring costs of £524 million (2014 - £102 million), litigation and conduct costs of £378 million (2014 - £832 million) and own credit adjustments of £120 million (2014 - £9 million loss) was £55 million, compared with an operating profit of £233 million in 2014 as lower income was partially offset by a reduction in expenses, down 15%.

·Total income declined by £404 million, or 21%, to £1,527 million in 2015. Excluding £120 million relating to own credit adjustments (2014 - £9 million charge) and £98 million relating to the transfer of portfolio businesses to Commercial Banking, CIB income was £1,309 million, in line with previous guidance.

·Rates income declined, reflecting the reduced scale and risk appetite of the business. Currencies incurred losses when the Swiss Central Bank unexpectedly removed the Swiss Franc's peg to the Euro. Financing was impacted by the strategically reduced corporate footprint especially in the US and by lower levels of EMEA investment grade issuance.

·Operating expenses of £2,369 million (2014 - £2,650 million) included litigation and conduct costs of £378 million (2014 - £832 million) and restructuring costs of £524 million (2014 - £102 million). Operating expenses excluding litigation and conduct costs and restructuring costs were £249 million lower totalling £1,467 million (2014 - £1,716 million), principally due to considerable reduction in headcount as the business moves towards a more sustainable cost base.

·RWAs reduced by £8.8 billion to £33.1 billion compared with £41.9 billion, nearing the end-state target of c.£30 billion. The reduction was primarily driven by the transfer to Commercial Banking of the UK and Western European portfolio business.

 

Building a better bank that serves customers well 

·CIB managed the largest liability management exercise in Europe in 2015 whilst raising approximately £50 billion for customers in debt capital markets in 2015.

·Steady state target for CIB is c.£1.4 billion of income with c.£30bn RWAs. Operating expenses are targeted at c.£0.7-0.8bn to deliver 8-10% return of equity.

  

Performance highlights 2015     2014
Return on equity (%) 11.1     7.9
Cost:income ratio (%) 155     137
Loans and advances to customers (£bn) 16.1     26.5
Customer deposits (£bn) 5.7     11.8
Risk-weighted assets (£bn) 33.1     41.9

 

30
 

Case studies

 

 

Waste nothing 

Rotterdam-based AVR handles public and commercial waste from across the Netherlands and surrounding countries, including the UK and Ireland. The waste is transformed into green energy for the Dutch power grid and district heating. A consortium, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings and Power Assets Holdings, bought the business in 2013 and we recently helped them refinance part of that acquisition through the capital markets. The deal means the company can now operate more cheaply. This is good for AVR, and for Dutch communities as the company is now able to bid more competitively for public authority waste contracts.

 

 

 

Silver Service for Whitbread 

RBS has a long-standing relationship with Whitbread, the UK’s largest hospitality company, which owns a number of well known brands including Premier Inn, Costa Coffee, Beefeater and Brewers Fayre. The company wanted to raise £450 million, so turned to the bank for help to raise the funds in the debt capital markets. RBS acted as joint lead manager, documentation bank as well as billing and delivery agent on the benchmark 10-year deal, which had a coupon of 3.375 per cent.

 

The deal marked Whitbread’s debut sterling bond issue and will help the hospitality company continue to grow its business.

 

 

31
 

Capital Resolution

 

 

Capital Resolution

 

Mark Bailie 

CEO, Capital Resolution

 

Capital Resolution consists of CIB Capital Resolution and RBS Capital Resolution (RCR). At 1 January 2015, CIB Capital Resolution comprised £101 billion of funded assets consisting of non-strategic portfolios from the CIB segment. RCR was created on 1 January 2014 to de-risk the bank’s balance sheet.

 

Performance overview 

·Capital Resolution funded assets fell by £62.2 billion to £53.4 billion, primarily due to run off of the repo financing book and loan portfolio disposals.

 

·Within this RCR reduced funded assets by 88% since its formation to £4.6 billion, exceeding the targeted reduction of 85% a year ahead of schedule.

 

·Capital Resolution RWAs reduced from £95.1 billion to £49.0 billion, driven by signifi ant reductions across CIB Capital Resolution and RCR, which primarily reflected disposals and repayment activity.

 

·CIB Capital Resolution delivered on its commitment to reduce RWAs by £25 billion in 2015, with a reduction of £32.6 billion.

 

·Capital Resolution made an operating loss of £3,687 million, including income related disposal losses of £367 million, restructuring costs of £1,307 million together with litigation and conduct costs of £2,105 million primarily relating to additional provisions for mortgage- backed securities litigation in the US. Operating expenses excluding restructuring costs of £1,307 million (2014 - £185 million), litigation and conduct costs of £2,105 million (2014 - £162 million) and write-down of goodwill of £130 million in 2014, were reduced by £481 million, or 24% to £1,539 million, principally reflecting a fall in headcount of approximately 1,100. Net impairment releases of £725 million were recorded, primarily in RCR driven by the disposal strategy and favourable market and economic conditions.

 

Building a better bank that serves customers well 

·CIB Capital Resolution consists of three regional businesses (Americas, EMEA and APAC), Shipping, Markets assets, Other legacy assets including Saudi Hollandi Bank and Global Transaction Services.

 

·RCR consisted of four asset groups: Ulster Bank (RCR Ireland), Real Estate Finance (ex. Ireland), Corporate and Markets. The remaining funded assets are included in Capital Resolution and RCR ceases to exist (following formal approval by the PRA).

 

Performance highlights     2015       2014
Risk-weighted assets (£bn)     49.0       95.1
Risk-weighted asset equivalent (£bn)     50.3       101.3
Total assets (£bn)     201.5       327.3
Funded asset (£bn)     53.4       115.6
                 

 

32
 

 

Case study

 

 

Pedalling ourselves proud

RBS became an official partner of Sport Relief in summer 2015, and September saw the first bank-wide fundraising event for the charity. Almost 750 colleagues from right across the business took part in the London to Edinburgh cycle challenge. Colleagues chose to cycle the full 500 miles, or 100 or 35 mile stretches, with hundreds more also taking part in static bike challenges, bake sales and other fundraising activities in our buildings across the UK. RBS employee Howard Fairclough shared his experience of the challenge: “Fantastic day, although my thighs might not agree. In terms of staff engagement this was the best event I’ve taken part in, in my 29 year career with the bank.”

 

 

33
 

 

Governance at a glance

 

 

 

 

Our Board

The Board has eleven directors comprising the Chairman, two executive directors and eight independent non-executive directors, one of whom is the Senior Independent Director. Biographies for each director can be found on pages 43 to 46.

 

In September 2015, Howard Davies was appointed Chairman of RBS, succeeding Philip Hampton. Mike Rogers was appointed to the Board on 26 January 2016.

 

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.

 

An external evaluation of the effectiveness of the Board and its committees was conducted in 2015, led by Condign Board Consulting Limited.

 

Governance at a glance 

Our Board committees 

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 42 to 89.

 

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.

 

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.

 

RBS Capital Resolution (RCR) Board Oversight Committee 

Provides oversight of RCR’s progress against, and compliance with, its primary objective and asset management principles. The RCR BOC met for the final time in January 2016 to finalise the closure of RCR.

 

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.

 

34
 

Governance at a glance

 

 

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 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 future. In 2016, the Nominations Committee will be replaced by the Nominations and Governance Committee, which has an expanded remit including governance oversight.

 

Executive Committee 

The Board is supported by the Executive Committee comprising the executive directors and other senior executives. It supports the Chief Executive in managing RBS’s businesses. It reviews and debates relevant items before consideration by the Board. It is responsible for developing and delivering RBS’s strategy and it monitors and manages financial performance, capital allocation, risk strategy and policy, risk management, operational issues and customer issues.

 

UK Corporate Governance Code  

Throughout the year ended 31 December 2015, RBS has complied with all of the provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code issued by the Financial Reporting Council dated September 2014 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
 

Risk overview

 

 

 

 

Risk overview

Progress in 2015 

·RBS made continued progress in 2015 on delivering its strategy to reduce risk and strengthen its balance sheet and capital position.

 

·Risk-weighted assets fell 32% in the year to £243 billion.

 

·The Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio increased by 430 bps to 15.5% and the leverage ratio increased by 140 bps to 5.6%.

 

·Risk elements in lending (REIL) fell to £12.2 billion, representing 3.9% of gross customer loans, down from 6.8% at 31 December 2014.

 

·RBS continued to reduce risk concentrations, notably in sectors such as Oil & Gas and Commercial Real Estate as well as in the Eurozone periphery countries.

 

·Good progress was made in de-risking the balance sheet as a result of the continued run-down or sale of certain businesses and higher-risk or capital- intensive assets.

 

·Citizens was fully divested resulting in a total RWA reduction of £63 billion.

 

·Capital Resolution reduced RWAs to £49 billion at 31 December 2015 from £95 billion at 31 December 2014, with substantial progress seen across exit portfolios. RCR reached its targeted run-down for 2015 with a total RWA reduction of £38 billion since launch and a £13.5 billion reduction in 2015.

 

·The first tranche of the international private banking business sale was completed with the second tranche due to be completed in the first half of 2016.

 

In the Bank of England (BoE) 2015 stress test, RBS’s transitional Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio under the hypothetical adverse scenario was 6.1% after the impact of management actions, above the 4.5% post-stress minimum CET1 capital ratio threshold set by the BoE. Taking into account the capital actions achieved in 2015 and those planned in the future, RBS did not need to alter its current capital plan as a result of the stress test, including the requirements relating to its Individual Capital Guidance (ICG). RBS’s Tier 1 leverage ratio under the hypothetical adverse scenario was 2.9%. After the impact of management actions, the ratio was 3.0%, which met the 3.0% post-stress minimum Tier 1 leverage ratio threshold set by the BoE.

 

RBS maintained a strong liquidity and funding risk profile in 2015. Its loan to deposit ratio was 89% at 31 December 2015, compared with 95% in 2014. The latest Individual Liquidity Adequacy Assessment (ILAA) showed that RBS is in a strong position to withstand liquidity stress scenarios. It suggested that RBS’s liquidity portfolio was large enough to cover more than double (227%) the expected outflows in the worst of three severe scenarios.

 

36
 

Risk overview

 

 

Top and emerging risks

RBS employs a robust process for identifying and managing its top and emerging risks. Top risks are defined as scenarios that, while unlikely, may materialise, and which, if they did, would have a significant negative impact, such that RBS as a whole, or a particular business, could potentially fail to meet one or more of its strategic objectives. A number of scenarios attracted particular attention in 2015:

 

Macro-economic and other external risks 

Risks related to the wider economy: 

Like most other businesses, RBS remains vulnerable to changes in the external economic environment. Among potential scenarios considered, the following could have a material negative impact: a UK recession including large house price falls; vulnerabilities in emerging market economies, including China, resulting in contagion in RBS’s core markets; global deflation; volatility in international markets linked to advanced economy interest rate increases or decreases; a resumption of the eurozone crisis, including a worsening of the situation in Greece; and major geopolitical instability. To mitigate these risks, RBS has strengthened its capital, liquidity and leverage positions. A number of higher-risk portfolios have been exited or reduced. Stress testing is used extensively to inform strategic planning and risk mitigation relating to these risks.

 

Risks related to the UK referendum on EU membership: 

The referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU during this parliament increases economic and operational uncertainty. The result may also give rise to further political uncertainty regarding Scottish independence. RBS actively monitors, and considers responses to, varying EU referendum outcomes to ensure that it is well prepared for all eventualities.

 

Risks related to the competitive environment: 

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 monitors the competitive environment and associated technological and customer developments as part of its strategy development and makes adjustments as appropriate.

 

An increase in obligations to support pension schemes: 

If economic growth stagnates, and interest rates remain low, the value of pension scheme assets may not be adequate to fund pension scheme liabilities. The deficit in RBS pension schemes as determined by the most recent triennial valuations has increased, requiring RBS to increase its current and future cash contributions to the schemes. An acceleration of certain previously committed pension contributions in Q1 2016 will reduce this risk. Depending on the economic and monetary conditions and longevity of scheme members prevailing at that time, the deficit may increase at subsequent valuations.

 

Regulatory and legal risks 

The impacts of past business conduct: 

Future conduct and litigation charges could be substantial. RBS is involved in ongoing class action litigation, securitisation and mortgage-backed securities related litigation, investigations into foreign exchange trading and rate- setting activities, continuing LIBOR-related litigation and investigations, 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), and other investigations. Settlements may result in additional financial penalties, non-monetary penalties or other consequences, which may be material. More detail on these issues can be found in the Litigation, Investigations and Reviews and Risk Factors sections. To prevent future conduct from resulting in similar impacts, RBS has embarked on a programme to embed a strong and comprehensive risk and compliance culture.

 

Risks to income, costs and business models arising from regulatory requirements: 

RBS is exposed to the risk of further increases in regulatory capital requirements as well as risks related to new regulations that could affect its business models. RBS considers the implications of proposed or potential regulatory activities in its strategic and financial plans.

 

Operational and execution risks 

Increased losses arising from a failure to execute major projects successfully: 

The successful execution of major projects, including the transformation plan, the restructuring of CIB, the divestment of Williams & Glyn and the embedding of a strong and pervasive organisational and risk culture, are essential to meet RBS’s strategic objectives. The separation and eventual divestment of Williams & Glyn is a complex process and as such entails significant operational and execution risk. The Group remains committed to full divestment of Williams & Glyn by the end of 2017. These projects cover organisational structure, business strategy, information technology systems, operational processes and product offerings. RBS is working to implement change in line with its project plans while assessing the risks to implementation and taking steps to mitigate those risks where possible.

 

37
 

Risk overview

 

 

Impact of cyber attacks: 

Cyber attacks are increasing in frequency and severity across the industry. RBS has participated in industry-wide cyber attack simulations in order to help test and develop defence planning. To mitigate the risks, a large-scale programme to improve user access controls is in progress, along with a number of other actions, including a reduction in the number of external websites, enhancement of anti-virus protections, and the implementation of a staff education programme on information protection.

 

Inability to recruit or retain suitable staff

RBS is undergoing significant organisational change, the result ofa need to implement new business strategies and respond to a changing external environment. The pace of change, coupled with the associated uncertainty, may cause experienced staff to leave and prospective staff not to join. Although these risks concern all customer businesses, they particularly affect CIB. RBS has communicated expected changes in its organisational structure to members of staff, implementing plans aimed at minimising unexpected staff losses. It is also working to implement an enhanced recruitment strategy.

 

Failure of information technology systems

RBS’s information technology systems may be subject to failure. As such systems are complex, recovering from failure is challenging. To mitigate these risks, a major investment programme has significantly improved the resilience of the systems and more benefits are expected. Back-up system sustainability has improved, and a ‘shadow bank’ system, to provide basic services, if needed, has been created.

 

Full risk factors are discussed on pages 384 to 409.

 

38
 

Sustainable banking

 

 

Sustainable banking

 

Sustainable banking means serving today’s customers in a way that also helps future generations. It requires us to put customers first, make RBS a great place to work, support our communities and be mindful of environmental impacts.

 

This section gives a short overview of our two main areas of focus: supporting enterprise and financial capability. It also provides details of our key disclosures on carbon emissions, inclusion and human rights. Our forthcoming Sustainable Banking Report, independently assured to AA1000 standards, provides a much more comprehensive overview of our approach to these areas and other material issues affecting the bank. Further information is available at rbs.com/sustainable.

 

Carbon emission disclosures 

RBS has a set of five year environmental targets running from 2015-2020, which sit alongside our pre-existing 2012-2020 targets for business travel and paper. At the end of year one, we can report that due to efficiency initiatives across our UK property portfolio, we’ve continued to reduce our combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions, putting us well on track to meet our global 2020 energy reduction targets. Similarly, our Scope 3 business travel reductions remain on track, as a result of our internal policies to reduce cost and promote more sustainable modes of travel.

 

We continue to strive to reduce the energy and associated emissions of our data centres, whilst also ensuring the delivery of reliable and innovative services to our customers remains a key priority. We’ve made changes in our waste reporting, by expanding our data collection streams and working closely with suppliers to find innovative ways to meet targets.

 

Our ambitious ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ target remains challenging and if we are to meet it, will require us to find new approaches to collaboration. The 2015 reporting year has seen the removal of Citizens from our environmental footprint, and so to remain in line with best practice, we’ve applied our re-baselining strategy to remove CFG emissions and normalise our environmental footprint. In 2014, CFG combined Scope 1, 2 and 3 footprint totalled 101,240tCO2e.

 

Inclusion

Building a more inclusive bank is essential for our customers and colleagues. Our inclusion policy standard applies to all our people globally.

 

During 2015 we continued our roll out of unconscious bias learning for all employees. We have introduced a gender goal to have at least 30% of women in the bank’s top three leadership levels by 2020. Further, we aim to have 50/50 balance at all levels by 2030. This is supported by the launch of a female development proposition. An increased focus on disability has led to the development of a comprehensive plan to support our colleagues and customers with additional needs and will help RBS achieve its ambition of becoming a ‘disability smart’ organisation. From an LGBT perspective, we continue to deliver improvements to our people policies and customer operating procedures, including the introduction of guidance to support employees going through gender transition, introducing the ‘Mx’ honorific, and improving our customer gender change process. We are finalising plans to improve our ethnic representation within senior roles and are continuing to support our 15,000 strong employee-led networks.

 

RBS has been recognised for its work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion by our Platinum ranking from Opportunity Now (gender); our Gold ranking for Race for Opportunity (race); retaining a position in the Times Top 50 Employers for Women; and improving upon our ranking in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (LGBT). As at 31 December 2015, of our global population of 90,158 employees (actual headcount excluding temporary workers), 42,892 (48%) were male and 47,266 (52%) female. There were 701 ‘senior managers’, which comprises our executive employee population and individuals who are directors of our subsidiaries. The RBS Board of directors has eleven members, consisting of eight male and three female directors.

 

 

 

Our approach to Human Rights 

RBS recognises its corporate responsibility to respect and uphold human rights. We regularly review our policies and procedures to ensure that we avoid infringing on the human rights of others throughout our sphere of influence.

 

The RBS Code of Conduct ‘Our Code’ sets out the standards we expect our people to work to, including a clear commitment to respecting human rights. We conduct regular consultations with employees on key aspects of their working environment, and operate a confidential helpline facility that allows employees to discuss any matter of concern with regards to their wellbeing. We are an accredited living wage employer.

 

39
 

Sustainable banking

 

 

Our Sustainable Procurement Code sets out our expectations of the companies that we work with. It states that our suppliers should not engage in breaches of human rights or labour rights, or in discrimination. We are also committed to equal opportunities for suppliers, and we recognise that diversity strengthens our supply chain. During 2015 we conducted introductory training on sustainability to members of our procurement team.

 

Our Environment, Social, Ethical (ESE) Risk policies include sector-specific human rights risk screenings and are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure best practice. We conduct due diligence on clients relating to human rights standards, and expect our clients to share our commitment to respecting human rights within their operations. In all sectors, we will not provide financial services to companies involved in harmful child labour or forced labour.

 

We also participate in projects with our peers through the Thun Group and UNEP FI to better understand and implement the human rights responsibilities of banks as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We have adopted and contributed to a number of internationally accepted codes, notably the Equator Principles and the UN Global Compact, which specifically address the management of human rights issues.

 

RBS welcomes new legislation – the Modern Slavery Act 2015 – to combat slavery and human trafficking. We are obliged to produce a public statement under this Act for the reporting year 2016, and we are identifying the steps necessary to ensure there is no modern slavery within our organisation and supply chain.

 

 

 

 

40
 

Our areas of focus

 

 

Support for enterprise 

RBS and NatWest support more businesses in the UK than any other bank, but we are determined to do more to get behind the entrepreneurs and businesses that power the UK economy. One of the ways we’re doing this is through our partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark, the free business accelerator programme. By the end of 2015 there were seven business accelerator hubs in Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayr and we will open six more around the UK by 2017. These hubs offer free workspace, hands-on mentoring, a start-up ‘bootcamp’ and a free programme of up to 18-months of advice, support and funding clinics for entrepreneurs and high growth businesses. 2015 also marked the successful conclusion of our Inspiring Enterprise initiative. In 2012 we began supporting and helping to fund organisations that work with young people, women and social enterprises to help them develop and progress their business ideas. By the end of the three year period, our support had directly contributed to the creation of 2,173 new businesses across the UK and we exceeded our initial targets by assisting 114,059 young people, 28,365 women and 5,349 social enterprises to develop their ideas and take their next steps on their enterprise journey.

 

 

Financial capability 

A cornerstone of our ambition to become No. 1 for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020 is our commitment to help people manage their money better. This means supporting people’s financial capability both day-to-day and through significant life events. One of our most established initiatives is MoneySense, which is one of the longest running financial education programmes for young people in the UK and Ireland. Over 60% of secondary schools were registered to use MoneySense in 2015, gaining access to a range of resources and interactive materials for teachers, staff volunteers and young people to help them get to grips with money and how to manage it. To celebrate the programme’s 21st birthday, we re-launched MoneySense to open it up to primary schools for the first time and introduced new materials to make learning about money more real, relevant and fun for 5-18 year olds. The programme continues to empower young people to take control of their own financial journeys and build financial capability throughout their lives.

 

 

41

 

Governance report

 

  Governance Page  
  Our Board 43  
  Corporate governance 47  
  Report of the Group Nominations Committee 53  
  Report of the Group Audit Committee 55  
  Report of the Board Risk Committee 61  
  Report of the RBS Capital Resolution (RCR) Board Oversight Committee 67  
  Report of the Sustainable Banking Committee 68  
  Directors’ remuneration report 71  
  Other Remuneration Disclosures 87  
  Compliance report 90  
  Report of the directors 93  
  Statement of directors’ responsibilities 99  

 42

Our Board

 


Chairman    

Howard Davies (age 65)

Nationality: British

Date of appointment: 14 July 2015 (Board),

1 September 2015 (Chairman)

 

Experience: Howard was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 1995 to 1997 and Chairman of the UK Financial Services Authority from 1997 to 2003. Howard was Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science from 2003 until May 2011. He is also Professor of Practice at the Paris Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po).

 

Howard recently chaired the UK Airports Commission and is also the author of several books on financial subjects.

External appointment(s):

·     Independent director of Prudential plc and chair of the Risk Committee

·     Member of the Regulatory and Compliance Advisory Board of Millennium Management LLC

·     Chair of the International Advisory Council of the China Securities Regulatory Commission

·     Member of the International Advisory Council of the China Banking Regulatory Commission

Committee membership(s):

Group Nominations and Governance Committee (Chairman)

Executive directors    

Chief Executive

 

Ross McEwan (age 58)

Nationality: New Zealand

Date of appointment: 1 October 2013

 

Experience: Ross became Chief Executive of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group in October 2013.

Between August 2012 and September 2013, he was Chief Executive Officer for UK Retail, joining from Commonwealth Bank of Australia where he was Group Executive for Retail Banking Services for five years. Prior to this he was Executive General Manager with responsibility for the branch network, contact centres and third party mortgage brokers.

 

Ross has more than 25 years experience in the finance, insurance and investment industries. Prior to Commonwealth Bank of Australia, he was Managing Director of First NZ Capital Securities. He was also Chief Executive of National Mutual Life Association of Australasia Ltd/AXA New Zealand Ltd. Ross has an MBA from Harvard.

External appointment(s):

None

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Executive Committee (Chairman)

Chief Financial Officer

 

 

Ewen Stevenson (age 49)

Nationality: British/New Zealand

Date of appointment: 19 May 2014

 

Experience: Prior to his current role, Ewen was at Credit Suisse for 25 years where he was latterly co-Head of the EMEA Investment Banking Division and co-Head of the Global Financial Institutions Group. He has over 20 years of experience advising the banking sector while at Credit Suisse.

Ewen has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration majoring in Accountancy and a Bachelor of Law from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

External appointment(s):

None

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Executive Committee

 43

Our Board

 

Independent non-executive directors  

 

Sandy Crombie (age 67)

Nationality: British

Date of appointment: 1 June 2009

(Senior Independent Director)

 

Experience: Sandy spent his entire full-time career with Standard Life plc, retiring as group chief executive. An actuary, he has served his profession in a variety of roles and has also served as a director of the Association of British Insurers.

Sandy has had a variety of cultural and community roles, and was previously Chairman of Creative Scotland, Chairman of the Edinburgh World City of Literature Trust and vice Chairman of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

External appointment(s):

·    President of the Cockburn Association

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Group Performance and Remuneration Committee (Chairman)

·    Group Audit Committee

·    Group Nominations and Governance Committee

·    GRG Board Oversight Committee

 

 

Alison Davis (age 54)

Nationality: British/USA

Date of appointment: 1 August 2011

 

Experience: Previously, Alison served as a director of City National Bank, First Data Corporation and Xoom and as chair of the board of LECG Corporation. She has also worked at McKinsey & Company, AT Kearney, as Chief Financial Officer at Barclays Global Investors (now BlackRock) and as managing partner of Belvedere Capital, a private equity firm focused on buy-outs in the financial services sector.

External appointment(s):

·    Non-executive director and member of the compensation committee of Unisys Corporation

·    Non-executive director, chair of the compensation committee and member of the audit committee of Diamond Foods Inc.

·    Non-executive director, and member of the audit committee of Fiserv Inc

·    Non-executive director and chair of the audit committee of Ooma Inc.

·    Member of Advisory Board of Strategic Global Advisors, LLP

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Group Nominations and Governance Committee

·    Group Performance and Remuneration Committee

·    Sustainable Banking Committee

 

 

Morten Friis (age 63)

Nationality: Norwegian

Date of appointment: 10 April 2014

 

Experience: Prior to joining the RBS Board, Morten had a 34 year financial services career and held various roles at Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries including Associate Director at Orion Royal Bank, Vice President, Business Banking and Vice President, Financial Institutions. In 1997, he was appointed as Senior Vice President, Group Risk Management and served as the Chief Credit Officer then Chief Risk Officer from 2004 to 2014. He was also previously a Director of RBC Bank (USA), Westbury Life Insurance Company, RBC Life Insurance Company and of RBC Dexia Investor Services Trust Company.

External appointment(s):

·    Member of the Board of Directors of The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

·    Member of the Board of Directors of the Harvard Business School Club of Toronto

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Group Audit Committee

·    Board Risk Committee

·    CIB Board Oversight Committee

       

 44

Our Board

 


Independent non-executive directors
 

 

Robert Gillespie (age 60)

Nationality: British

Date of appointment: 2 December 2013

 

Experience: Robert began his career with Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) where he qualified as a chartered accountant. He then moved into banking joining SG Warburg, specialising in corporate finance, and was appointed as Co-Head and Managing Director of its US investment banking business in 1989. Following the acquisition in 1995 of Warburg by Swiss Bank Corporation (which subsequently merged with UBS), he then held the roles of Head of UK Corporate Finance, Head of European Corporate Finance and Co-Head of its global business and CEO of the EMEA region. He relinquished his management roles at the end of 2005, and was appointed Vice Chairman of UBS Investment Bank. Robert left UBS to join Evercore Partners, from where he was seconded to the UK Panel on Takeovers and Mergers, as Director General, from 2010 to 2013.

External appointment(s):

·    Independent board director at Ashurst LLP 

·    Chairman of Council at the University of Durham

·    Chairman of the Boat Race Company Limited 

·    Director of Social Finance Limited

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Group Nominations and Governance Committee 

·    Group Performance and Remuneration Committee

·    Board Risk Committee 

·    Sustainable Banking Committee

·    CIB Board Oversight Committee (Chairman) 

·    GRG Board Oversight Committee

Penny Hughes, CBE (age 56)

Nationality: British 

Date of appointment: 1 January 2010

 

Experience: Previously a non-executive director and chairman of the corporate compliance and responsibility committee of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc, other former non-executive directorships include Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, Home Retail Group plc, Vodafone Group plc, Reuters Group PLC, Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc and The Gap Inc. Penny spent the majority of her executive career at Coca-Cola where she held a number of leadership positions, latterly as President, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland.

External appointment(s):

·    Non-executive Chairman of The Gym Group plc. Also chair of the nominations and member of the audit, risk and remuneration committees 

·    Non-executive director and member of the audit and nomination committees of SuperGroup plc

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Sustainable Banking Committee (Chairman) 

·    Board Risk Committee

·    GRG Board Oversight Committee

Brendan Nelson (age 66)

Nationality: British 

Date of appointment: 1 April 2010

 

Experience: Brendan was global chairman, financial services for KPMG. He previously held senior leadership roles within KPMG including as a member of the KPMG UK board from 1999 to 2006 and as vice-chairman from 2006. Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland from 2005 to 2008. President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland 2013/14.

External appointment(s):

·     Non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of BP plc 

·     Member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Group Audit Committee (Chairman) 

·    Group Nominations and Governance Committee

·    Board Risk Committee 

·    GRG Board Oversight Committee (Chairman)

·    CIB Board Oversight Committee

 45

Our Board

 

Independent non-executive directors  

 

Baroness Noakes, DBE (age 66)

Nationality: British 

Date of appointment: 1 August 2011

 

Experience: An experienced director on UK listed company boards with extensive and varied political and public sector experience. A qualified chartered accountant, she previously headed KPMG’s European and International Government practices and has been President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2000 and has served on the Conservative front bench in various roles including as shadow treasury minister between 2003 and May 2010. Previously held non-executive roles on the Court of the Bank of England, Hanson, ICI, Severn Trent, Carpetright, John Laing and SThree.

External appointment(s):

·    Deputy chairman, Ofcom

 

Committee membership(s): 

·    Board Risk Committee (Chairman)

·    Group Audit Committee 

·    CIB Board Oversight Committee

·    GRG Board Oversight Committee

 

Mike Rogers (age 51)

Nationality: British 

Date of appointment: 26 January 2016

 

Experience: Has extensive experience in retail banking and financial services. Mike joined Barclays in 1986 where he undertook a variety of roles in the UK and overseas across business banking, wealth management and retail banking. Mike was Managing Director of Small Business, Premier Banking and UK Retail Banking. Mike is currently Chief Executive of Liverpool Victoria Group, a role he was appointed to in 2006.

External appointment(s):

·    Chief executive, Liverpool Victoria Group 

·    Non-executive director of the Association of British Insurers.

 

Committee membership(s):

·    Sustainable Banking Committee

Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel  

Aileen Taylor (age 43)

Nationality: British 

Date of appointment: 1 May 2010

(Company Secretary)

 

Experience: A qualified solicitor, Aileen joined RBS in 2000. She was appointed Deputy Group Secretary and Head of Group Secretariat in 2007, and prior to that held various legal, secretariat and risk roles including Head of External Risk (Retail), Head of Regulatory Risk (Retail Direct) and Head of Legal and Compliance (Direct Line Financial Services).

Aileen is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and a member of the European Corporate Governance Council.

 

 

Executive Committee

 

The Board is supported by the Executive Committee comprising the executive directors and other senior executives. Details of the composition of the Executive Committee and biographies of its members can be found at rbs.com>about us>corporate governance>ce and board>executive committee.

 

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Chairman’s introduction

I am pleased to introduce the Corporate Governance report, my first since being appointed Chairman of the Board. A brief review of the principal issues addressed by the Board during the year is included in my Chairman’s Statement on page 13. The following report provides an overview of key roles and responsibilities of the Board, and sets out in greater detail how the Board spent its time in 2015. Board effectiveness and performance evaluation are also covered, as well as an overview of how we communicate with shareholders.

 

I and my fellow directors are committed to observing high standards of corporate governance, integrity and professionalism. Our statement of compliance with the UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code) can be found on page 90.

 

Howard Davies, Chairman of the Board

 

The Board

The Board has eleven directors comprising the Chairman, two executive directors and eight independent non-executive directors, one of whom is the Senior Independent Director.

 

Biographies for each director and details of which Board committees they are members of can be found on pages 43 to 46. The Board considers that the Chairman was independent on appointment and that all non-executive directors are independent for the purposes of the Code.

 

Board changes

Philip Hampton stepped down from the Board on 31 August 2015.

 

Howard Davies was appointed as a non-executive director on 14 July 2015 and assumed the role of Chairman on 1 September 2015. Mike Rogers was appointed as a non-executive director and a member of the Sustainable Banking Committee on 26 January 2016.

 

Roles and responsibilities

The Board

The Board is collectively responsible for the long-term success of RBS and delivery of sustainable shareholder value. The Board’s terms of reference include a formal schedule of matters specifically reserved for the Board’s decision and are reviewed at least annually. The terms of reference are available at rbs.com>about us.

 

Chairman

The role of Chairman is distinct and separate from that of the Chief Executive and there is a clear division of responsibilities with the Chairman leading the Board and the Chief Executive managing RBS’s business day to day.

 

The Chairman’s key responsibilities are to:

·provide strong and effective leadership to the Board;

·ensure the Board is structured effectively, observes the highest standards of integrity and corporate governance, and sets the tone from the top in terms of culture and values;

·build an effective and complementary Board with an appropriate balance of skills and personalities, and as Chairman of the Group Nominations Committee consider succession planning for Board appointments;

·manage the business of the Board and set the agenda, style and tone of Board discussions to promote effective decision-making and constructive debate;

·facilitate the effective contribution and encourage active engagement by all members of the Board;

·in conjunction with the Chief Executive and Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel, ensure that members of the Board receive accurate, timely and clear information, to enable the Board to lead RBS, take sound decisions and monitor effectively the performance of executive management;

·ensure that the performance of individual directors and of the Board as a whole and its committees is evaluated regularly; and

·ensure RBS maintains effective communication with shareholders and other stakeholders.

 

Chief Executive

The Chief Executive has responsibility for all of RBS’s business and acts in accordance with the authority delegated by the Board.

 

The Chief Executive’s key responsibilities are to:

·exercise executive accountability for the RBS businesses delivering operational management and oversee the full range of activities of the customer businesses and functions;

·develop, drive and deliver the strategy approved by the Board;

·drive and deliver performance against financial plans, acting in accordance with authority delegated by the Board;

·consult regularly with the Chairman and Board on matters which may have a material impact on RBS;

·act as champion of the culture and values of RBS, creating an environment where employees are engaged and committed to good customer outcomes;

·lead, manage and develop RBS’s senior leadership team, ensuring professional capability is developed and that succession coverage meets the needs of RBS;

·ensure RBS has effective frameworks and structures to identify, assess and mitigate risks; and

·in conjunction with the Chairman and Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel, ensure the Board receives accurate, timely and clear information.

 

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Senior Independent Director 

Sandy Crombie, as Senior Independent Director, acts as a sounding board for the Chairman and as an intermediary for other directors when necessary. He is also available to shareholders to discuss any concerns they may have, as appropriate.

 

Non-executive directors

Along with the Chairman and executive directors, the non-executive directors are responsible for ensuring the Board fulfils its responsibilities under its terms of reference. The non-executive directors combine broad business and commercial experience with independent and objective judgement and they provide independent challenge to the executive directors and the leadership team. The balance between non-executive and executive directors enables the Board to provide clear and effective leadership across RBS’s business activities.

 

The standard terms and conditions of appointment of non-executive directors are available on rbs.com or from RBS Corporate Governance and Secretariat.

 

Board Committees 

In order to provide effective oversight and leadership, the Board has established a number of Board committees with particular responsibilities. Please see page 34 of the Strategic Report for more details. The terms of reference are available on rbs.com.

 

During 2015, two additional temporary committees were established to support the Board’s oversight of Global Restructuring Group (‘GRG’) and CIB.

 

Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel

Aileen Taylor is the Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel and is also the Company Secretary. Reporting directly to both the Chairman and the Chief Executive, she provides support and advice to the Board on a broad range of strategic and governance issues. She acts as a trusted advisor in the effective functioning of the Board, ensuring appropriate alignment and information flows between the Board and its committees, including the Executive Committee. As Board Counsel, she is responsible for delivery of commercial corporate governance support and related legal advice to the Board and overseeing the provision of legal advice to the Board by the General Counsel.

 

The Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel’s key responsibilities include: 

·advising on Board skills and composition including induction, ongoing training and professional development;

·executive responsibility for Chairman/non-executive director search and appointment process;

·delivery of a global corporate governance strategy across RBS;

·the provision of professional secretariat support to the Board and its committees; and

·leading on implementation of recommendations from the annual Board evaluation.

 

Conflicts of interests

RBS has procedures in place to ensure that the Board’s management of conflicts of interest and its powers for authorising certain conflicts are operating effectively. On appointment, each director is provided with RBS’s guidelines for referring conflicts of interest to the Board. Each director is required to notify the Board of any actual or potential situational or transactional conflicts of interest and to update the Board with any changes to the facts and circumstances surrounding such conflicts.

 

Situational conflicts can be authorised by the Board in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 and the company’s Articles of Association. The Board considers each request for authorisation on a case by case basis and has the power to impose conditions or limitations on any authorisation granted as part of the process.

 

Details of all directors’ conflicts of interest are recorded in a register which is maintained by the Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel and reviewed annually by the Board.

 

Board meetings

In 2015, nine Board meetings were scheduled and individual attendance by directors at these meetings is shown in the table below.

 

In addition to the nine scheduled meetings, 25 additional meetings and committees of the Board were held, including meetings to consider and approve financial statements. The Chairman and the non-executive directors meet at least once per year without executive directors present.

 

 

Attended/

scheduled

Howard Davies (1)              4/4
Ross McEwan              9/9
Ewen Stevenson              9/9
Sandy Crombie              9/9
Alison Davis              9/9
Morten Friis             9/9
Robert Gillespie             9/9
Penny Hughes             9/9
Brendan Nelson             9/9
Baroness Noakes             9/9
Mike Rogers (2)             — 
   
Former director  
Philip Hampton (3)             6/6

 

Notes:

 

(1)Appointed to the Board on 14 July 2015.

(2)Appointed to the Board on 26 January 2016.

(3)Stepped down from the Board on 31 August 2015.

 

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Principal activities of the Board during 2015

In advance of each Board meeting, the directors are provided with comprehensive papers. During 2015 there has been an enhanced focus on organisational culture, including risk culture, and on continued enhancement of the risk appetite framework. These have been recurring themes underpinning Board discussions during the year. A revised approach to Board papers was adopted in 2015 in order to improve and enhance the quality, content and consistency of information presented to the Board which has been well received. An overview of the principal activities of the Board during 2015 is shown below.

 

Each meeting

·     Chairman’s report

·     Chief Executive’s report

·     Chief Financial Officer’s report including monthly results and update on capital, funding and liquidity

·     Franchise updates

·     Transactions update

·     Risk report (including updates on conduct matters)

·     Reports from Committee Chairmen

·     Governance and Company Secretary’s report (routine matters for approval/noting)

1st Quarter 2nd Quarter

·     Budget

·     Executive director remuneration proposals

·     Annual results and AGM notice

·     Board and committee evaluations

·     Internal Audit evaluation

·     External Auditor evaluation

·     ICB design

·     Risk appetite framework

·     Stress testing

·     RBS contingency funding plan

·     Restructuring update

·     Employee survey results

·     Litigation update

·     Technology update

·     Transformation Programme

·     Q1 results

·     Risk culture

·     Resolution plan

·     Recovery plan

·     Annual General Meeting preparations

·     Citizens divestment

·     Stress testing

·     Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process

·     Non-executive director’s training proposals

·     ICB update

·     Digital update

·     Technology update

·     Transformation Programme

·     Board strategy offsite

·     Executive talent session

3rd Quarter 4th Quarter

·    Interim results

·    Individual Liquidity Adequacy Assessment

·    Citizens divestment

·    Culture

·    Executive talent session

·    Brand hierarchy

·    Board evaluation update

·    Stress testing

·    Williams & Glyn capital plan

·    Litigation update

·    Technology update

·    Transformation Programme

·    Banking Standards Board session

·    Executive talent session

·    Board session with PRA

·     Q3 results

·     2016 budget and 2017-20 plan

·     ICB update

·     CIB strategy review

·     Dear Chairman Exercise II Feedback response

·     Ulster Bank strategic review

·     RBSI strategic review

·     Data and analytics session

·     Legal report

·     Technology update

·     Board and committee external evaluation

·     Pension funding

·     Senior Manager Regime responsibilities map

·     Transformation Programme

·     Williams & Glyn Programme

Executive Committee members attend part of each Board meeting to provide an update on the performance of each of the franchises and risk and conduct issues. Other relevant senior executives attend Board meetings to present reports to the Board as appropriate. This provides the Board with an opportunity to engage directly with management on key issues and supports the Board’s succession planning activity.

 

Board effectiveness

Skills and experience of the Board 

The Board is structured to ensure that the directors provide RBS with the appropriate balance of skills, experience and knowledge as well as independence. Given the nature of RBS’s businesses, experience of banking and financial services is clearly of benefit, and we have a number of directors with substantial experience in that area. The Board also benefits from directors with experience in other fields.

 

The table below illustrates the breadth of skills and experience on the Board.

 

·     Retail Banking

·     Other Financial Services

·     Markets/Investment Banking

·     Government & Regulatory

·     Mergers & Acquisitions

·     Corporate Restructuring

·     Stakeholder Management

·     Chief Executive experience

·     Finance & Accountancy

·     Risk

·     Technology/Digital

·     Operations

·     Change Management

·     Consumer Facing

Board committees also comprise directors with a variety of skills and experience so that no undue reliance is placed on any individual.

 

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Induction and professional development

Each new director receives a formal induction on joining the Board, which is co-ordinated by the Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel. This includes visits to RBS’s major businesses and functions and meetings with directors and senior management. Meetings with external auditors, counsel and stakeholders are also arranged as appropriate. Each induction programme has a core element that the director is required to complete, with the remainder of the programme tailored to the new director’s specific requirements. A list of example meetings arranged during an induction programme for a new director is set out below:

 

Chairman

Chief Executive

Chief Financial Officer

Senior Independent Director

Other non-executive directors

Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel

Chief Risk Officer

Chief Conduct & Regulatory Affairs Officer

Chief Marketing Officer

RBS Treasurer

RBS General Counsel

External Auditor

External Counsel

 

Franchise Chief Executives

Business visits (UK and overseas) 

Finance

Risk

Internal Audit

Tax

Chief Human Resources

Officer

Chief Administration

Officer

Investor Relations

Strategy & Corporate

Development

Regulators

Institutional Investors

 

The Chairman continues to progress his tailored and comprehensive induction programme, which includes all of the above, together with additional customer, employee, shareholder and governmental engagement sessions, to support the nature and scope of the Chairman’s role.

 

The directors have access to a wide range of briefing and training sessions and other professional development opportunities. Internal training relevant to the business of RBS is also provided. Business visits are arranged as part of the Group Audit Committee and Board Risk Committee schedule (details of which can be found on pages 56 and 62) and all non-executive directors are invited to attend. Directors undertake the training they consider necessary to assist them in carrying out their duties and responsibilities as directors.

 

During 2015, the directors received updates on a range of subjects to enhance their knowledge, including:

 

·ICB/ring-fencing.

·Client Money and Asset rules.

·Senior Managers’ Regime.

·Cyber security.

·The Banking Standards Board.

·Digital technology.

·PRA consultation on board responsibilities.

·PRA policy statement on the implementation of ring-fencing.

·EBA consultation on guidelines on sound remuneration policies.

·FRC discussion paper on UK board succession planning.

·New RBS leadership programme.

·Davies Report on gender balance on British boards.

·EU Market Abuse Regulations.

·The Investment Association Principles of Remuneration 2015.

·Institutional and Shareholder Services UK & Ireland Proxy Voting Guidelines.

·EBA report on the use of Role Based Allowances.

·European Commission consultation on the impact of the bonus cap, October 2015.

·Pensions.

·PRA/FCA Report into the failure of HBOS plc and report by Andrew Green QC assessing the FSA’s enforcement actions in relation to the failure of HBOS plc.

 

The Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel maintains continuing professional development logs. These are reviewed regularly between the Chairman and each director individually, to assist in identifying future training and development opportunities that are specific to the individual director’s requirements.

 

Information

All directors receive accurate, timely and clear information on all relevant matters and have access to the advice and services of the Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel. In addition, all directors are able, if necessary, to obtain independent professional advice at the company’s expense.

 

Time commitment

It is anticipated that non-executive directors will allocate sufficient time to RBS to discharge their responsibilities effectively and will devote such time as is necessary to fulfil their role. Directors have been briefed on the limits on the number of other directorships that they can hold under the requirements of the fourth Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV). Each director is required to seek the agreement of the Chairman before accepting additional commitments that might affect the time the director is able to devote to his or her role as a non-executive director of RBS. The Board monitors the other commitments of the Chairman and directors and is satisfied that they are able to allocate sufficient time to enable them to discharge their duties and responsibilities effectively. The time commitment currently required of our non-executive directors continues to be significant.

 

Election and re-election of directors

In accordance with the provisions of the Code, all directors stand for election or re-election by shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting. In accordance with the UK Listing Rules, the election or re-election of independent directors also requires approval by a majority of independent shareholders.

 

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Performance evaluation

In accordance with the Code, an external evaluation of the Board takes place every three years. An internal evaluation takes place in the intervening years.

 

The 2013 and 2014 evaluations were conducted internally by the Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel. In 2014, an evaluation of the Board’s effectiveness was also carried out by the PRA. Following the 2014 evaluations, a number of initiatives were implemented, aimed at improving the overall performance and effectiveness of the Board. These included improving the quality and volume of information provided to the Board, ensuring sufficient time on Board agendas for customer matters and RBS’s priorities, enhancing the professional development provided to directors and a focus on succession planning. Work continues to address these topics and will be kept under regular review as a matter of good practice.

 

In 2015, the Board and committee evaluation process was externally facilitated by Condign Board Consulting Limited, a specialist board evaluation consultancy which was selected following a competitive tender process. The Board is satisfied that Condign has no other connection with RBS.

 

Performance evaluation process

The external facilitator undertook a formal and rigorous evaluation by:

 

·using a tailored discussion guide to structure individual meetings held with each director, as well as the Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel, the Chief Risk Officer and the Chief Conduct & Regulatory Affairs Officer;

·discussing outcomes and recommendations with the Chairman and Chief Governance Officer and Board Counsel; and

·outlining outcomes and suggesting areas for improvement through a written report and oral presentation to the Board.

 

Amongst the areas reviewed were Board dynamics, culture and engagement; Board and committee meetings and processes (including information quality and flows and the balance between Board and committee agendas); Board and committee composition and structuring, external relationships with regulators, shareholders and stakeholders; and overall Board effectiveness.

 

Outcomes of the 2015 performance evaluation

The 2015 performance evaluation concluded that the Board was strong and operated effectively and within its terms of reference.

 

Key strengths identified included the following:

·the Board was exceptionally hard-working, engaged, and appropriately composed throughout the year;

·the group dynamic between Board members was good and on the whole members continued to work well together, creating effective challenge, considerable debate and detailed oversight; and

·the Board’s committees also operated effectively within their terms of reference throughout the year providing a great deal of support to the Board.

 

A summary of the key themes arising from the 2015 performance evaluation is set out below, together with an overview of the key actions proposed:

 

Key themes

Board resourcing and succession planning

The need to plan for rotation in the Board’s membership was highlighted, as a number of directors reach or exceed the six year point in their tenure. The review highlighted the importance of regularly reviewing Board and Board Committee composition, according to business and staffing needs, with scope also identified to streamline Nominations Committee processes.

 

Agenda planning

The evaluation highlighted the continuing need to ensure the right preparations take place before a paper reaches the Board. It also highlighted the challenge of achieving an appropriate balance between Board and Committee agendas to ensure the best use of directors’ time and to support effective decision-making.

 

Tone from the top and ensuring Board/executive alignment

The evaluation also acknowledged the continuing importance of the Board’s role in developing the appropriate performance and behavioural culture which is shared with the organisation, and ensuring appropriate alignment between the Board and the executive as remediation issues reduce and the forward agenda develops.

 

Proposed actions

The full performance evaluation report set out a series of recommendations which have been carefully considered by the Board. An action plan has been agreed to progress these recommendations, as appropriate, during 2016. Key actions include:

 

·Creation of a Nominations and Governance Committee, adding a governance oversight function, and streamlining processes and membership.

 

In January 2016 the Board approved proposals to establish a Nominations and Governance Co