NatWest to offer video meetings that fit with customers diaries

Natwest Bank branch

Bankers at NatWest branches will offer customers video meetings outside of normal working hours as part of a revamp of the high street lender’s retail banking division.

NatWest has drawn up a new strategy for the business, including plans to offer new products for savers, expand its credit card arm and take advantage of flexible working practices, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the planned overhaul.

The bank has experienced a surge in customers using digital channels to access its services during the pandemic.

Alison Rose, chief executive, said at its annual results last month that video banking had risen from less than 100 meetings a week in January last year to about 15,000 a week 12 months later.

Part of the new strategy would involve a more flexible service in which branches will offer video meetings with customers in the evenings.

The revamp will be the latest overhaul by Rose since she took over at NatWest in November 2019. She has already pared back the group’s investment banking division and scrapped Bó, a mobile banking brand, less than six months after it was started.

Last month she announced plans for a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland, where NatWest’s Ulster Bank business has long suffered from poor profitability and high costs. A NatWest spokesman said: “Our purpose-led strategy is focused on improving customer service, combining access to great digital services with the best people and ways for customers to reach them more quickly.

“We’re working to simplify and improve the products and service we offer to make it more straightforward and attractive to save, organise and invest to help our customers achieve their financial goals throughout their lives.”

NatWest is one of Britain’s biggest domestic lenders. It remains majority-owned by the taxpayer, the legacy of its £45 billion government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.