Staff at Royal Bank of Scotland that offer products such as mortgages, loans and credit cards to customers are to have their bonuses scrapped.
The move, which comes into force on January 1st, will affect 20,000 staff working across Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, its sister brand. The change will affect staff who deal with customers face-to-face.
RBS had changed its incentive schemes in 2012, so that staff had to meet certain “customer satisfaction standards” in order for them to receive a bonus on top of their salary. This latest change means staff will only have a set salary and no other form of bonuses.
The average rise staff will receive will be 5%, which is designed to compensate them for the loss of bonuses.
The move is all about RBS and NatWest rebuilding trust with their customers, which was so heavily eroded after the PPI claims scandal that is still ongoing.
Les Matheson, the CEO of personal and business banking at NatWest and RBS, said:
“We’re determined to keep doing things differently and we can only continue to rebuild our customers’ trust if they truly believe that we are completely focused on helping them with their financial needs – which is why we will scrap all incentives for customer-facing employees in our personal and business banking business.
“Our customer-facing employees are working hard to do the right thing for our customers and we hope that these changes will go further in providing them with the confidence that every conversation they have with our colleagues is one based exclusively on their financial needs.
“Our employees will not lose out as a result of this – they will receive an increase to their annual base pay and the way we pay them will be simpler and fairer.”
The move was welcomed by Unite the Union. Rob MacGregor, Unite’s national officer for finance, said:
“Unite has long campaigned to end the hard sell in retail banking and here we see RBS moving away from sales target-based bonuses, resulting in a pay rise for the majority of retail staff. It is time for other banks to follow suit and end the hard sell.”
Let’s hope that other banks follow suit and do more to show they have changed their approach and that they are focussed on their customers first and foremost.