There are many reasons to like this bank:
• The Bank received it's Royal Charter in 1728 (over the rival Bank of Scotland which was thought to have Jacobite sympathies).
• In 1728, the Royal Bank of Scotland became the first bank in the world to offer an overdraft facility.
• In 1967, the RBS became the first Scottish bank to install an Automated Teller Machine, and by 1980 the service, known as Cashline had become the busiest ATM network in the world.
• The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC is the only bank in the UK that continues to print a £1 note.
• The RBS Group is the fifth largest in the world by market capitalisation.
Apart from being an atrocious bank with whom I battled for a year to get back over £300 of service charges (I won), I curiously have a great empathy for having an account with the ROYAL Bank of SCOTLAND. Being a Scot I'm biased, but come on, who wouldn't want to have an account with this historical, regal and noble sounding institution? Surely there's no-where safer to have your money than having it buried under Edinburgh Castle and guarded by Sean Connery?
What I'd really like to know, though, is what market researcher figured that changing its name to the anonymous acronym "RBS" was a good idea?
"I know, let's make the bank utterly anonymous" I can hear the Saatchi suits saying to themselves over jugs of mojitos at their Bahamas creative retreat.
"It'll be a bit like HSBC then, which no-one knows or cares stands for the 'Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation', but we got paid a million quid to change its name from Midland Bank so the MD could feel important".
"Yah, and let's do the letters RBS in a really naff American-looking font, that's a bit like Helvetica but we've paid a font designer a fortune to cut off the serifs or something".
"Yah, and then we'll make adverts for Abbey, which everyone preferred when it was Abbey National with that roof-umbrella logo and that song 'get the Abbey Habit...' and we'll go on about how it's now owned by some Spanish bank, even thought it's utterly, utterly irrelevant because it's not like they're changing their name or anything but their Chief Execs get a kick out of it".
I used to feel special being a Royal Bank customer, and I had a sense of pride handing over a debit card that was a bit different from the rest - one that identified me and so often caused comment or started a conversation. Now that RBS are just a big faceless institution, the emotional connection has gone, and moving my account elsewhere won't be such a big wrench. Bye bye Royal Bank, thanks for making it so easy to leave you.