A number of London-based digital shops have been approached by the bank directly. It is looking for agencies that can offer digital strategy, website design and build, usability testing, as well as campaign tracking and benchmarking.
However, sources suggest the search will be restricted by conflict business at many large UK agencies.
In the past year, RBS has worked with Play, the digital arm of M&C Saatchi, and Twentysix London, which has handled campaigns for RBS mortgages, insurance and online services. It is not known if either agency will pitch for a new roster place.
RBS has also used digital advertising as part of its "Make It Happen" drive this year. It comprised press and TV, created by M&C Saatchi, and an online campaign from Play that appeared on finance sites such as economist.com.
Play also created a campaign around the British Open golf tournament to promote the bank's association with the golfers Jack Nicklaus and Paula Creamer. The ads encouraged consumers to visit an RBS microsite featuring golfing tips, a calendar and an RBS Golf Majors podcast.
RBS did not return calls.