At RBS, 2016 will continue to be about the customer - their needs, their priorities, their concerns. That may sound obvious but as we know to our cost, it has not always been the case.

However, things are changing. This bank is very different to what it was a couple of years ago, our capital is up, costs are down and we are building a simpler and fairer business based on our customers needs, not our own.

We have taken a lead in ending some of the practices we felt just weren’t right for our customers. No longer whacking up home insurance premiums after a year, but instead providing a three year flat rate fee, and calling time on teaser rates that penalised loyal customers. We will continue to head into 2016 challenging the industry norm on these kinds of practices, as we seek to earn back our customers trust.

We see the economy through the eyes of our customers and it’s looking in pretty good shape, steady growth, inflation remaining low and a growing business confidence. As the largest business bank in the UK, 2016 will see us scale up our support for enterprise and entrepreneurialism, opening a network of ‘hatcheries’ to nurture and grow new ventures, and backing more businesses than any other bank.

I expect interest rates to stay lower, longer helping borrowers but unfortunately this will mean a further wait for those patient savers.

Finally, in 2016 you will see us continue to build a really good bank for the UK and Republic of Ireland; we will exit those countries we no longer should be in and close off some of the big remaining conduct and litigation issues that are a hangover from the past. The future must be about the customer and earning their trust - first, last and always.

This article first appeared in The Times on Monday 4 January 2016. You can read the original article here [paywall].

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