Financial capability | RBS

Financial Capability

For RBS, supporting financial capability goes beyond delivering fair products and great service.  It also means helping our customers to develop good money management skills and knowledge, so they are empowered to make better financial decisions. 


Supporting young people


We believe that every young person deserves a solid financial education, and that we have a role to play in helping future generations to become financially confident consumers. So, we created MoneySense.

MoneySense has been running for over 23 years, during which it has helped over 5 million young people learn about money.  

It is our flagship financial education programme for young people, delivering learning to 5-18 year olds, both in the classroom and at home. MoneySense resources are used in 66% of UK secondary schools across the UK. During 2017, our employees supported an average of 7 classroom workshops every teaching day. Through MoneySense, our ambition is to help a further one million young people learn about money by the end of 2018.


Managing money 


Our Financial Health Check service helps customers to organise their finances and prioritise and achieve their financial goals. From suggesting some easy ways to stay in control of day-to-day spending, to recommending simple ideas to build up savings, a free one-to-one Financial Health Check is designed to make money work smarter and help customers realise their goals and dreams.

In 2017, we helped over one million customers with a free Financial Health Check*.


Protecting customers’ money 


Our Secure Banking Promise is our commitment to our customers – we’ll refund any money taken out of a customer’s account by a fraudster, as long as they’ve kept their security information secret.

We undertake a number of activities to protect customers' money:

  • We were the first bank to support Friends Against Scams and trained more than 20,000 staff during 2017
  • We launched a report identifying millennials as being most at risk from fraud and scams
  • We sponsored a BSI Specification 17271 on Protecting Customers from Fraud and Financial Harm
  • We launched the first fully-accessible Mobile App (RNIB Approved) and NatWest Accessible Credit Card
  • We developed addictions training with the Money Advice Trust and were first in the creditor sector to complete it 
  • As a member of the Money Advice Service Debt Advisory Group, we called for an independent review of debt funding and are working with the sector to progress initiatives aimed at improving  customer journeys and outcomes for those seeking debt advice.
  • We actively support the UK Finance ‘Take Five’ campaign through awareness events in our branches, providing guidance over the telephone and ensuring our social media accounts and websites actively promoted key messages.    


Preventing financial difficulties


We know that things don’t always go to plan, and where possible we offer support to customers before they get into financial difficulties.

  • Royal Bank of Scotland are proud to be a 2017 headline sponsor for the Money Advice Scotland annual conference. This event plays a vital role in helping address financial inclusion and debt solutions
  • NatWest is committed to supporting customers in financial difficulty. Our dedicated team take the time to understand each customer’s situation. We make sure they understand the different forms of free and impartial money advice available, and offer to put customers directly through to specialist providers such as StepChange and Business Debtline if they require further support 
  • In 2017, we helped more than 900 vulnerable customers through our Innovative Citizens Advice partnership – where Citizens Advice colleagues are located within one of our Specialist Support teams providing independent advice to our most vulnerable customers
  • NatWest’s social lending charity, NatWest Social & Community Capital (S&CC), significantly increased lending to social enterprises that are unable to borrow from mainstream banks. In 2017, approved new lending was 73% higher than the previous year. We approved 19 loans with a value of £1.5m, compared with ten loans at £900,000 for 2016       

In 2017, the Debt Management Operations team and our external partners:

  • Helped over 680,000 customers experiencing financial difficulty
  • Sent nearly 63,000 letters and had 26,000 conversations with customers in our pre arrears team, providing guidance on budgeting and signposting free debt-advice agencies
  • Provided more than 27,500 customers with ‘breathing space’, extra time for them to find support and to put in place a repayment arrangement
  • Agreed mortgage repayment arrangements with over 32,000 customers, enabling them to get back on their feet


*Limited assurance provided by Ernst & Young LLP.
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