Bank Accounts for All!
Since the acquisition of NatWest a little over a year ago, The Royal Bank of Scotland has grown into one of Europe's largest banking groups with over 13 million personal and business customers and 2,250 branches. One of the first decisions we took was to halt the NatWest branch closure programme. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our service -- as demonstrated by NatWest's 'Another Way' campaign.
Last year we spent [pound]13.6 million making a difference to the communities in which we work. We have focused our community investment programme on those people who remain excluded from society and we have joined forces with organisations that make a real impact on financial and social inclusion.
Bank Accounts for All
The Royal Bank and NatWest believe that everyone should have easy access to banking services. The NatWest Step Account and the Royal Bank Key Account have enabled thousands of people to unlock the benefits of bank accounts at no charge. By promoting them on TV and working with the New Deal and Employment Zones people have taken the first steps towards financial inclusion.
Financial literacy is fundamental to financial inclusion. A good understanding of personal money management, how to use a bank, and how the financial industry works enables people to make the most of their money, avoid debt, and deal with any financial problems more effectively.
As part of our award winning Face2Face programme, specially trained branch staff go into schools to explain the basics of money management. Since the programme began, over 4,000 NatWest staff have visited half of all English secondary schools to give their expertise. We will continue to build on the success of Face2Face and extend the programme into Scotland.
Both banks have also been involved in the development of teaching materials in consultation with education experts in both England and Scotland. We are producing innovative teaching resources, such as CD Roms, and teacher training materials accessible on the world wide web. …