As he marks a year in the job of CEO, he signalled that a vital part of re-earning the trust of customers will be the way the banking sector handles future rate increases for homeowners, businesses and savers.
He made a number of key points:
- Research on interest rate rise impacts: Ross confirmed that the bank is investing in a significant study to help customers understand the impact of rate increases. Thousands of personal and business customers will be interviewed as part of the study into how the public access, assess and act on information about interest rates. He pledged to share the research, which will be the largest and most comprehensive investigation undertaken, with regulators and the wider industry, early next year.
- Future base rate rises: Ross commented that this is a worry for customers and that the sector should ‘use this moment to earn back some much needed trust’. He promised ‘we will do all that we can to explain well in advance how we intend to manage rate increases for both borrowers and the UK’s very patient savers’ .
- Trust in the sector: Ross called on all banks to ‘decide today to compete with each other on proving that we are worthy of the trust of our customers’, calling trust in banks a ‘commercial essential‘ not a ‘nice to have’.
- More open for business as economy recovers: Ross explained that ‘customers don’t have a strong sense that bankers are thinking ahead and looking out for them’. This is something he thinks they should expect and a recent initiative where the bank contacted 300,000 SME customers offering £12.2bn in additional funding, is one such example.
The full transcript of Ross McEwan’s speech is now available. [PDF 154KB]