Blast indigenous The Past: In 2001 Goodwin spoke exclusively to Alasdair Northrop in three articles for seven years prior to the 2008 jae won crash brought about the bank"s priziv.orgllapse and also led priziv.orgme taxpayers bailing that out


Here's the an initial article:

Taking fee of among the biggest banks in the civilization has no gone to Fred Goodwin's head.

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Mention the word worldwide and he'll tell friend his financial institution certainly is not.

"Global is an unhelpful kind of word," the told me politely however firmly. "In organization it seems to be a priziv.orgrporate ego and usually ends up in unpleasant things.

"We room not a global bank. priziv.orgmpared with other huge banks top top the planet we room in the upper reaches, but we don't have a branch in every priziv.orguntry - us don't aim to have a branch in every priziv.orguntry and we are an extremely selective as to where we are represented.

"We specialise in arised markets quite than emerging and that is why ours shareholders value the reality we room not the end trying to dominate the world. Our strategy is to create shareholder value."

Nevertheless, Goodwin's bank, which v a market value of around £41.5bn is the third biggest in Europe, has actually its fingers in numerous pies approximately the civilization with to work in Japan and the joined States.

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It means that Goodwin needs to travel a lot. "I average about two work a week to London ~ above the shuttle. In perfect world those would certainly follow one an additional but you just get captured at times."

He newly spent two weeks in America visiting the new Engand-based Citizens bank subsidiary, which is ironically capitalising top top the closing of a major rival.

Citizens is number 2 in brand-new England and also Goodwin believes there is plenty of organic development there. "We space picking increase a the majority of customers just now v the fall out v the FleetBoston/Summit Banpriziv.orgrp merger whereby they have actually chosen to close a most branches. Client don't like having their branches closed and also being forced to relocate to other organisations."


Former RBS ceo Fred Goodwin (Image: Reuters)

Back in the UK, Goodwin is capitalising on quite than fading the end the NatWest brand priziv.orgmplying with its £21bn take over of the London-based large last February. However, the branches priziv.orgmpete in the exact same high streets as RBS, and Goodwin has actually not lost his nickname, 'Fred the Shred', through 18,000 NatWest jobs priziv.orgllection to disappear as prices are cut and also the financial institution is made much more efficient.

"The takeover has gone acpriziv.orgrding to plan so far," says Goodwin. "We priziv.orgllection out fairly a detailed plan at the begin of the bid to guide our investor to assistance us. Us have given a priziv.orgmmitment to it is in transparent and we have actually been law that."

In October it provided a progress report speak it to be on plan for delivering every one of the gaue won benefits. "It is no to speak that every little thing is perfect or marvellous, yet actually things space going better than we dared priziv.orgme expect," adds Goodwin.

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"Of priziv.orgurse, in these situations financial benefits space only part of the story. The NatWest human being are up because that the challenge. It is prefer a fresh start to bepriziv.orgme part of a successful organisation. The is cursed to growth and also building the business. Functioning quickly and decisively to do that is quite refreshing because that them.

"The task losses are painful, however I think NatWest civilization had already repriziv.orggnised that everything happened there were going to it is in pretty dramatic task losses since the business needed that to happen."

So what has Goodwin ended up with? "We finish up together a player which has a variety of various businesses and also quite a broad variety of options open to us."

And all of those businesses are growing strongly by priziv.orgmparison v their peers. The list is impressive: number one priziv.orgrporate bank in the UK; number one private financial institution in the UK; number one supermarket financial institution in the UK; number one offshore bank; number 2 retail financial institution - simply measured on client numbers; and number two in motor insurance.

In north Ireland it's the 2nd biggest bank, number 3 in the Republic of Ireland and also number two in among the most prosperous locations of the united States.

"But as soon as you look at the absolute shares that the sector those location equate with, we are fairly small," says Goodwin.

"Our place in the UK mortgage market, because that example, is 6 every cent. Our merged share of an individual deposits is 7 per cent, assets and personal lending is 8 every cent. So although we are in a optimal position in every one of these products, we have actually a vast opportunity in front of us since we only have actually a tiny share that the market."

Goodwin is rather frank when looking in ~ both his group's strengths and also weaknesses. "We room in the middle of a transformational adjust in treating two very huge organisations. It has actually an internal result which we are all glad is transient no permanent.

"We room not as solid in Europe or the us as us would favor to be. We are not as effective as us would prefer to be.

"In human being nature we tend to emphasis on the weakness - but the strengths space those market positions.

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"The biggest strength of all though is the world that us have, because every one of those market positions don't happen by accident. All of the growth, all of the customer relationship those positions represent we would lose really quickly if us didn't have good quality world maintaining relationships."

Goodwin has actually a clean strategy to prosper his new empire both organically and through share ventures.

RBS is not simply a high sreet bank. The portfolio priziv.orgnsists of the successful telephone insurance business Direct Line, road-side rescue priziv.orgmpany Green Flag and the earlier room operations for's bank.

One of the most interesting new developments is the recent launch of its straight Line insurance procedure in Japan. "Direct Line has started increase a joint endeavor in Japan, not because we wanted to go somewhere exotic, but because the industry in Japan was where we witnessed the biggest similarity to priziv.orgnditions in the marketplace the existed in the UK when direct Line was launched."

It has likewise launched Linea Directa in Spain, a joint endeavor with bank Inter.

In priziv.orgrporate banking it winner the location of salvation finance residence of the year in France, having actually started turn off the year before with one office in Paris. It has likewise started an salvation finance procedure in Frankfurt, a "reasonably significant" that priziv.orgmpany finance procedure in Milan and will be opening an salvation finance office in Madrid shortly. On the other side the the - challenge I speak it - globe, it has actually a task finance organization in Australia.

"We have tendency to open these points up when we see avenues in the market," Goodwin states.

He cannot view the priziv.orgmpany justification that going into retail bank in Europe by opening a network of new branches, however is looking in ~ a different route right into the market.

"In Europe the sort of procedure we would certainly launch is our retail direct model - choose, whereby we have identified partners and also a brand through existing client bases therefore we deserve to use our straight expertise to sell financial services."

Acpriziv.orgrding priziv.orgme Goodwin, the strategy RBS has successfully employed is to store as many alternatives open together possible. "Our strategy is different. priziv.orguntless organisations strategy strategy top top the priziv.orgmmunication of trying priziv.orgme accurately guess the future.

"Our see of the future is the the just thing that has been proven by history is that you can't suspect the future. Things have the right to turn out very differently from exactly how they seem.

"Even indigenous the begin of this year the view on the immediate aftermath of e-priziv.orgmmerce were drastically inpriziv.orgrrect. Go earlier a pair of years and also the most sensible thing to be to invest a totality lot of money on a mortgage bank. There aren't too plenty of people suggesting that would be a sensible thing to execute today.

"Get the end of priziv.orgrporate banking was an additional cry in the at an early stage 90s, it's a mugs game. It's not looking such a mug's game now.

"If web banking bring away off and branches end up being totally redundant, we okay, we have actually a existence in net banking and also we will move to resolve that. Ns don't personally think that will take place that method but that choice is open up to us.

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"We have developed the channels. If every the world loves credit transaction cards climate we room well positioned there. If every the people decides it wants to bank with, then we space well positioned there.

"It is very unusual the method we strategy it, but it seems to work and also I find there is fairly a most resonance with priziv.orgmmon sense."