The past few months have shown this organisation at its best. We have put in place extraordinary measures of financial support underpinned by something every bit as powerful – humanity, kindness and respect.
Whether it’s transforming part of our head office in Edinburgh into a foodbank, or the 330,000 calls we have made to vulnerable customers, my colleagues up and down the country are demonstrating that our purpose sits at the heart of our decision-making every single day.
There are challenging times ahead as the longer-term impacts of the pandemic become clear. NatWest Group is here to provide help and support to those who need it as we adapt to dramatic changes in the way we live and the way we work.
And as we rebuild better, our key areas of focus remain unchanged; removing barriers to enterprise, building financial confidence and playing a leading role in helping to tackle climate change.
Covid-19 has not distracted us from these priorities. If anything, it has strengthened our resolve.
• We have put in place two new targets for 2020 – to increase our support for new and existing businesses.
• We are creating more than 1,000 intern, graduate and apprentice roles between now and October 2021, many for applicants from less advantaged backgrounds.
• And we have appointed Lord Stern to advise and challenge us as we implement our ambitious targets on climate change.
As we change our name to NatWest Group, I want us to play a positive role in society. Of course we must deliver for our shareholders and we have distributed more than £3 billion in dividends since 2018. But we must also deliver for our customers, colleagues and communities throughout the UK and help to build a cleaner, fairer and more inclusive economy.
Because while what we are called is important, it is how we do business that people will remember.