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The rise of the 'see-through' business

Andrew Cave reveals why RBS's biggest challenges are also our biggest opportunities.

At a recent conference on responsible business, I spoke about the emergence of ‘see-through businesses’ – companies which successfully adapt to working in an environment where there is an unprecedented amount of publicly available data on their operations. 

These changes are being driven along by the people power of the internet and social media – customer review and feedback sites, price comparison sites, campaign group reports and online databases. 

At the same time, the ever rising bar of both voluntary and legal sustainability reporting standards continues to push companies to provide more useful data on their performance.

But a number of companies are starting to see increased transparency as an opportunity, and are working hard to improve this area of their business. 

At RBS, we have a long way to go to rebuild trust after everything that the company has been through. We are taking a very deliberate approach to be as open as possible about our business, including on-going challenges as well as progress. We are therefore particularly pleased to have been ranked as the leading UK company in Transparency International’s latest report on transparency in corporate reporting. 

Transparency International work tirelessly on the anti-corruption agenda, and have been responsible for much of the progress towards open business in recent years that I mention above. 

We are very realistic about how much work we have ahead of us to achieve our goal of being the most trusted bank by 2020, but we are determined to get there – milestones like this ranking give us reassurance that we are beginning to make some real progress.


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