RBS to revive dormant bank brand Williams & Glyn's

LONDON - The Royal Bank of Scotland is considering reviving a long-disappeared high street bank, bucking the recent trend in financial services of old names disappearing fast.

RBS is said to be mulling over the resurrection of Williams & Glyn's Bank -- which was merged into its business in September 1985. The bank first began life in Manchester in 1836.

The move would help RBS respond to European state aid concerns. Once the name is resurrected, RBS could sell it off to reduce its market share in retail and commercial banking.

European competition officials have previously voiced suggestions that banks could be forced to split out part of their businesses as a way of reducing their footprint.

This pressure is also believed to be behind Lloyds TSB's decision in August to reverse its decision to close the branch network of its Cheltenham & Gloucester brand.

The move also has other attractions, enabling RBS to distance itself from the fallout created by the banking crisis. RBS is 70% owned by the taxpayer after the bank bailout of last October.

It is understood that the Williams & Glyn's business still exists as a separate legal entity despite the fact that its name disappeared from the high street when RBS invested its efforts in promoting the main brand.

Breathing life into an old financial brand goes against the grain of the past few years in financial services.

HSBC ditched the Midland Bank brand in 1999 seven years after buying it, while Spanish giant Santander is in the process of phasing out the names of its British acquisitions -- Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.

In the insurance sector, Aviva, has scrapped the Norwich Union brand, as it pools its resources around the main brand.

You have

[DAYS_LEFT] Days left

of your free trial

Subscribe now

Become a member of Campaign from just £51 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now