You are not a loan, RBS ads remind customers

August 4, 2009

RBS/REPOSSESSIONIs the Royal Bank of Scotland softening up the public and politicians ahead of its results on Aug 7th with a series of newspaper advertisements telling us how many loans it is dishing out?

The 70-percent state-owned bank is expected to post a pre-tax profit of 1.2 billion pounds for the first half of the year, according to a Reuters poll of analyst forecasts. 

RBS is going to need to show British taxpayers that their investment is doing more than just helping the bank back into the black — particularly following criticisms that along with other banks it has not passed on the money the government has made available to it.

The RBS ads, carried in The Guardian newspaper, personalise the bank’s lending by naming some of the businesses it is supporting.

Along with a full-page letter to RBS shareholders from CEO Stephen Hester, the ads say that businesses have benefited from over 100,000 loans from RBS this year and that the bank is providing more than 5,000 loans to UK businesses every week.

While RBS says it is making 9 billion pounds of net new mortgage lending available to its retail customers over the next 12 months and has committed to making 16 billion pounds of new net lending available to UK businesses over the same period, nowhere does it say how much of this it has lent so far.

Let’s hope the bank has worked out the figures by the time of its results, after all they are bound to be asked.

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