RBS CEO: We Sold Customers Things They Didn't Need, And We 'Literally And Metaphorically' Put Them At The Back Of The Line

Rbs royal bank of scotlandREUTERS/David MoirPeople use a Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) cashpoint in Edinburgh, Scotland, November 14, 2012.

Here’s something we have yet to really see on Wall Street.

RBS CEO Ross McEwan admitted this morning that the British megabank clearly wasn’t doing what was best or even good for its customers during the financial crisis.

In an op-ed for The Guardian, McEwan, who took over as CEO last October, touted the bank’s efforts over the past five years “to defuse the bank’s legacy of excess, to clean up the culture.”

And here’s the key quote:

“In the rush for growth and profit, RBS forgot what banking is about. The bank valued least the people it should have valued most: its customers. We sold them products like PPI which many didn’t need, and in some cases didn’t know they had. Our customers often felt confused by language they found difficult to understand. We wasted their time with needless bureaucracy. We literally and metaphorically put them at the back of the queue.”

He adds that his goal is to get RBS “back to the basics of banking.”

McEwan succeeded Stephen Hester, who was edged out as head of RBS last summer, having posted consecutive years of annual losses. Hester himself replaced Fred Goodwin in 2008 after RBS was bailed out — the bank remains in state receivership.

The whole thing is worth reading. Click here to head over to Guardian.co.uk »

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