Manchester (proposed HQ),
Number of locations
|Parent||The Royal Bank of Scotland Group|
Williams & Glyn was a division of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and National Westminster Bank (NatWest) consisting of 307 RBS branches in England and Wales and NatWest branches in Scotland. The division was formed because RBS Group, owner of the two banks, was required by the European Union (EU) to divest a portion of its business after HM Government took an 84% stake in the group during the 2008 United Kingdom bank rescue package, which the EU classed as state aid. RBS Group was required to divest Williams & Glyn by the end of 2017.
A consortium including Kuwait Investments, Corsair Capital, Centerbridge Capital and the Church of England invested £600 million into the business in September 2013, in exchange for equity once the bank was floated in an initial public offering (IPO). On 5 August 2016, RBS Group announced it had abandoned plans to spin off Williams & Glyn as a stand-alone business, stating that the new bank could not survive on its own due to Brexit. The group was to sell the unit to another bank as an asset transfer.
In February 2017, HM Treasury and the European Commission reached a provisional agreement in which RBS would be able to retain the Williams & Glyn assets in return for investing £833 million into a fund aimed at increasing small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lending by challenger banks and for RBS agreeing to allow SME customers of challenger banks to use its branch network for cash and cheque handling. A final agreement for the retention of the Williams & Glyn assets by RBS Group was approved by the European Commission in September 2017. RBS Group announced its intentions to close 162 of the branches that were to have formed Williams & Glyn in April 2018. The closure of a further 54 branches was announced in September 2018.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Williams and Glyn's Bank Ltd
The historic Williams & Glyn's Bank Limited was established in London in 1970, when the Royal Bank of Scotland merged its two subsidiaries in England and Wales, Williams Deacon's Bank Ltd. and Glyn, Mills & Co. In 1985, the historic Williams & Glyn's Bank was fully absorbed into the Royal Bank of Scotland.
In 2000, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group acquired National Westminster Bank in a hostile takeover. In 2009 it was announced that all 311 Royal Bank branches in England and Wales together with the seven Scottish branches of NatWest were to be divested by the troubled group, under the dormant Williams & Glyn's brand, to comply with European Union state aid requirements. The process was expected to take up to four years to complete.
Agreement with Santander Group
In March 2010, it was reported that the group had issued a sales memorandum for the business, which would include 318 branches and around £20 billion in loans provided to small businesses and households. Following the deadline for initial bids on 7 April, Santander Group, Virgin Money, National Australia Bank, BBVA and the private equity firm JC Flowers were all confirmed to have submitted bids for consideration. It was announced on 3 August that the Spanish Santander Group would pay around £1.65 billion for the branches, expected to be rebranded as part of Santander UK, in a deal set to be completed by December 2013. Santander withdrew from the sale on 12 October 2012.
Agreement with Corsair consortium
In September 2013, the group confirmed it had reached an agreement to sell 314 branches to the Corsair consortium, made up of private equity firms and a number of institutional investors. The branches, incorporating 250,000 small business customers, 1,200 medium business customers and 1.8 million personal banking customers, were due to separated from the group in 2016 as a standalone business under the Williams & Glyn's name. By May 2015, the total number of branches included in the new business had been reduced to 307.
Preparation for launch
In October 2015, the RBS Group submitted an application for a banking licence for the new bank. The group also published its transition plan for the launch of Williams & Glyn. According to the plan, a website for the new bank would have been launched and branch signage would have been changed to the Williams & Glyn identity, which would have initially operated as a trading name used by Royal Bank of Scotland plc in England and in Wales and National Westminster Bank plc in Scotland. In the lead up to the formal launch of the new bank, which was expected in early 2017, customers would have been able to access Williams & Glyn branded internet, mobile and telephone banking services, and would have received new branch sorting codes and new debit cards. To facilitate the transition, separate internet and telephone banking systems were created for RBS customers in England and Wales. Planning applications for the erection of new branch signage bearing the Williams & Glyn brand identity were submitted to local authorities across the north of England in early 2016. A standalone ATM network for the new Williams and Glyn bank was created in June 2016.
On 16 December 2015, RBS confirmed it had received a number of informal offers for the bank, and would seek to complete a sale by the end of 2017. HM Treasury subsequently announced it had asked the Competition and Markets Authority to suspend a review into how competitive the bank would be in the UK banking sector.
On 5 August 2016, RBS published details of the group's half-yearly financial results, revealing a £2.05 billion loss for the first half of 2016. RBS Group blamed historically low interest rates and the fallout from the UK's 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum with uncertainties caused by the pro-Brexit result. These result indicated, according to RBS, that Williams & Glyn would not prosper as an independent bank. Instead, Reuters reported that Santander UK was interested in buying the unit outright, although Santander had abandoned talks in September 2016. CYBG plc, owner of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, confirmed in October 2016 that it had made what it described as a "preliminary non-binding proposal" for the unit. In the same month RBS confirmed that it would be unable to sell Williams & Glyn by the end of 2017, potentially giving the European Commission the right to take control of the sales process. By December 2016, both Santander and CYBG had scaled back their bids, citing issues with integrating the six NatWest branches in Scotland, and with integrating large corporate customers. RBS instead started exploring selling other assets or closing branches that it could not sell thus requiring customers based at those branches to find alternative banking arrangements.
Alternative Remedies Package
In February 2017, HM Treasury and the European Commission reached a provisional agreement in which RBS Group would be able to retain the Williams & Glyn assets in return for investing £750 million into a fund aimed at increasing SME lending by challenger banks and for RBS agreeing to allow SME customers of challenger banks to use its branch network for cash and cheque handling. The European Commission agreed in principle to the new proposals in July 2017, but the amount to be used to increase competition in the UK SME banking sector was increased to £833 million. A final agreement, known as the "Alternative Remedies Package", was reached with the College of European Commissioners in September 2017, allowing RBS Group to retain the Williams & Glyn assets and bringing the sale process to a close.
Closure of Williams and Glyn branches
In early 2018, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group announced its plans for restructuring to comply with new UK-wide rules on ring-fencing retail banking operations from investment banking operations. As part of this restructuring, all retail banking assets of the existing Royal Bank of Scotland plc were transferred to Adam and Company plc on 30 April 2018, which assumed the Royal Bank of Scotland name in the process.
As part of its brand management strategy, RBS group has decided that NatWest should become its primary customer facing brand in England and Wales and Royal Bank of Scotland its core brand in Scotland. In April 2018, it was revealed by RBS Group CEO, Ross McEwan that 162 Royal Bank of Scotland branded branches that were to have formed part of Williams & Glyn are to be closed as they are located close to NatWest branded branches which are part of the same group. The closures are expected to happen between July and November 2018 and result in the loss of almost 800 jobs. It is proposed that customers with Royal Bank of Scotland accounts will in future be able to use NatWest branches for counter services. In Late May, McEwan added that further branch closures could be announced before the end of the year. The closure of a further 54 branches was announced in September 2018 with an expected loss of 258 jobs.
Logo and branding
Initially planned to be called Williams & Glyn's Bank, it was announced in December 2013 that the bank name would be shortened to Williams & Glyn owing to the difficulty of using an apostrophe in branding and website addresses. The original Williams and Glyn's Bank was formed by merging Williams Deacon's Bank with Glyn, Mills & Co.
A logo for Williams and Glyn was designed by Landor Associates in April 2014. The logo featured the words "Williams" and "Glyn" joined by a large ampersand. This was followed by the development of a full corporate visual identity for the new bank by The Designship. New uniforms which were to have been worn by Williams & Glyn staff were revealed at an event held at SS Great Britain in Bristol. The historic Williams and Glyn's Bank did not have a distinct logo, instead it used the "Daisy Wheel" logo of its parent company, The Royal Bank of Scotland.
The leadership team of the part of the Royal Bank of Scotland plc that was to have become Williams & Glyn was composed of:
- Director - Philip Nevill Green
- Director - Mervyn Davies
- Director - Lance West 
- Chief Executive Officer - Jim Brown 
- Chief Operating Officer - Chris Davis
- "Our Locations". Williams & Glyn Careers Site.
- Dunkley, Emma (28 May 2015). "RBS may need to beef up Williams & Glyn business". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Titcomb, James; Clancy, Rebecca (21 June 2014). "RBS tells Vince Cable: We can't speed up Williams & Glyn sale". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- "RBS sells 314 bank branches to Corsair consortium". BBC News. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- Moore, James (28 September 2013). "Church takes 10% stake in RBS division to create an 'ethical' bank". The Independent. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- "RBS cancels Williams & Glyn project and loses another £2bn". The Telegraph. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- James Quinn (17 February 2017). "Royal Bank of Scotland calls halt to troublesome Williams & Glyn sale after Treasury strikes deal with Brussels". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- Emma Dunkley (18 September 2017). "Brussels approves RBS plan for boosting competition". Financial Times.
- James Burton (27 April 2018). "RBS is to close branches across England and Wales to reduce costs". Daily Mail.
- Read, Simon (5 September 2018). "RBS to shut 54 more bank branches". BBC News.
- The Williams & Glyn's Bank Act 1970 (cap. 14), see HC Deb. 23 July 1970 Vol. 804 cc.758-60 for Royal Assent
- Williams & Glyn's Bank Ltd, London, 1970-85 The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Heritage Archives (retrieved 23 November 2009) Archived 20 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- NatWest takeover battle BBC News, 11 February 2000 09:53 GMT
- Announcement on the APS and State Aid Discussions The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Company Announcements, 3 November 2009
- Scottish Branch Sale National Westminster Bank (retrieved 23 November 2009). In 1975 NatWest had been one of the first London banks to open a representative office in Scotland
- Hill, Andrew Welcome back, Williams & Glyn���s, the SME’s friend The Financial Times, 13 October 2009
- Dey, Iain RBS to relaunch historic Williams & Glyn's brand after 24 year absence The Sunday Times, 13 September 2009
- Hosking, Patrick Williams & Glyn's bank could make comeback The Times, 15 September 2009
- Mason, Rowena and Blackden, Richard New banks on the High Street: Williams and Glyn's The Daily Telegraph, 1 November 2009
- Harry Wilson (8 April 2010). "RBS offers loans to buy payment-processing arm". Daily Telegraph.
- RBS sells 318 branches to Santander BBC News, 4 August 2010 11:40 BST
- "RBS sale of 316 branches to Santander collapses". BBC News. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- Treanor, Jill (1 October 2015). "RBS applies for banking licence for Williams & Glyn spin-off". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- "Your journey to Williams & Glyn" (PDF). The Royal Bank of Scotland. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- "RBS ditch plans to set up new bank offering after £2bn loss". Cooper Stern. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "Wyre Council online information - Environment - Planning". Wyre Council. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
- "RBS makes W&G cash machine switch". IBS Intelligence. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- Dunkley, Emma; Arnold, Martin (16 December 2015). "RBS plans to sell Williams & Glyn next year". Financial Times. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- "Royal bank of Scotland's divestment of Williams & Glyn". GOV.UK. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- "Brexit fallout looms large over RBS as losses, costs mount". Reuters UK. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Clydesdale confirms Williams & Glyn offer". BBC News. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- "RBS admits Williams & Glyn deadline is now impossible". The Week. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
- "RBS makes contingency plans as branch sell-off falls through". The Week. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- Tim Wallace (26 July 2017). "RBS told to pump £833m into scheme to shed customers to avoid forced Williams & Glyn sell-off". The Telegraph.
- "Overview of our new structure". www.rbs.com. 2018.
- "Our brand strategy and ring-fencing". www.rbs.com. 2018.
- Nicholas Megaw (27 April 2018). "Royal Bank of Scotland signals further branch closures". Financial Times.
- "RBS to cut 792 jobs, close 162 branches in Williams & Glyn cull". Reuters. 1 May 2018.
- Renae Dyer (11 May 2018). "RBS could close more branches as part of Williams & Glyn transfer, says CEO". proactiveinvestors.co.uk.
- Slater, Steve (19 December 2013). "RBS's Williams & Glyn: shorter name as split takes shape". Reuters. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Parsons, Russell (1 April 2014). "RBS unveils Williams & Glyn logo". Marketing Week. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- "Williams & Glyn Bank". The Designship. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- "Williams and Glyn - SS Gt Britain". benandmolly.co.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
- "Church of England teams up with the City to buy 314 RBS branches and create new 'ethical' High St bank called Williams & Glyn's". This is Money. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- "RBSG strikes pre-IPO deal for Williams & Glyn's". London Stock Exchange. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Scuffham, Matt (28 April 2015). "RBS names Ulster Bank chief as boss of Williams & Glyn | Reuters". Uk.reuters.com. Retrieved 11 September 2015.