I met with Sir Howard Davies, Chair of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and Ms. Jane Howard, Chief Executive of its subsidiary, Ulster Bank on 18th July last. This meeting was in line with the regular meetings that I have with the Chairs and Chief Executives of the retail banks operating in Ireland.
Similarly to other meetings with retail banks, the meeting involved a general discussion of the overall banking sector and matters related to the specific institution. The issues discussed in this meeting included:
- An update on RBS’s business strategy;
- An update on Ulster Bank’s business strategy and how it is working to provide the benefits of greater competition to Irish consumers;
- The future retail banking landscape, for which I set out the Government’s objectives of greater competition and a more customer-centred focus; and
- Ongoing Brexit-related developments and the impact of uncertainty on investment decisions in the UK.
There was no discussion of potential job losses, which are commercial decisions for banks and their boards.
At this time, I do not have a future meeting scheduled with the bank but as I have already stated, I would expect to meet them again as part of my regular meetings with all of the retail banks operating in Ireland.