Tony Greenham, Head of Finance at the New Economics Foundation (NEF) said:
“Today’s speech from RBS Chief Executive Ross McEwan shows real progress is being made at the bank. Clear lessons have been learned in the five years since RBS was bailed out at huge cost to UK taxpayers.
“We particularly welcome his renewed commitment to customers and the UK economy over the bank’s former international ambitions. An end to special deals that penalise longstanding customers is something we called for in 2011, and will help restore some of the trust lost in recent years.
“But a revived customer focus is not enough make RBS a true asset to the UK. What this country lacks is a local banking system that properly responds to the needs of small businesses and households across the UK.
“Instead of fattening RBS for a cut-price privatisation we should be making full use of our £45bn investment to turn it into a network of local banks, and let taxpayers reap the long-term rewards of RBS’s revival. Ross McEwan today set out his vision for a bank worth saving but let’s talk instead about a bank worth keeping - in public ownership for the public interest.”