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NatWest boss says Business confidence is falling

The cost of living crisis presents challenges because so many firms and customers have no experience of high inflation and rising lending rates, NatWest boss Alison Rose has said.

Firms on the bank’s books have falling confidence, she told BBC Scotland.

Ms Rose blamed this on problems with supply chains, energy bills and skills shortages.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also “exacerbated” people’s worries, she added.

Three years after she took over the top role from Ross McEwan, and renamed Royal Bank of Scotland, or RBS, with the Natwest brand, Ms Rose said that the impact of inflation, higher interest rates and the invasion of Ukraine has caused a “concern” for business about “confidence to grow”.

Business confidence is falling

“We are still seeing positive tailwinds from recovery from the pandemic as companies scale back up again, but definitely business confidence is being affected,” she said.

She added business customers of NatWest boss are not pulling back on investment, though there is cautiousness about long-term projects.https://www.dillonadopt.com/profile/where-to-watch-top-gun-2-maverick-online-streaming-at-home/profile

“We’re seeing people increasing investment in working capital as they re-engineer their supply chains,” Ms Rose said.

the challenges we all need to recognise

“One of the challenges we all need to recognise is that, for a lot of business owners and lot of families and rising interest rates is not something they’ve had to deal with for a long period of time.”

Interest rates were cut sharply during the financial crisis in 2008-09, when RBS had the  bank in the world, ran into severe difficulties with its exposure to bad lending, and had to be bailed out with a £45bn capital injection by the UK government.

England base interest

It is only this month that the Bank of England base interest rate has returned to 1%, and the current level for 40 years and continuing to rise.

So it is a falling minority problems of living with high inflation, and few in business could remember both rising at the same time.

Ms Rose, who joined Natwest turmoil in business conditions.

People are really anxious

“People are really anxious and worried about all those trends, so we encourage them to come and talk to us, because there are  she explained.https://www.dillonadopt.com/profile/watch-top-gun-maverick-online/profile

The chief executive signs of mortgage arrears rising or bad debt more widely.

“As we came out of the pandemic, a lot a rainy day.

financial health and support teams

“We’re not seeing any of those early warning indicators around bad debts or insolvencies or even calls coming into our financial health and support teams.

“But we’re very acutely aware that people are are worried.”

ahead of inflation, unlike almost every other sector. RBS bonuses this year were up 44%.

the NatWest boss competitive with other banks, while the bonus pool is declining.

The majority are on fixed pay,” she said.

“We’ve always said we would pay fairly and competitively.

On very low savings rates for customers of Natwest executive responded: “We’ve got to balance all those elements. We’ve always we’re doing that responsibly and fairly.”

‘People were traumatised’

Also in the interview, looking back at her time in the investment bank, while its operations were close down in 2008, Ms Rose recalled it as a “really difficult time”.

“I’ve had my whole career here, and I remember the financial crisis clearly, and the impact we can have on people’s lives when things go wrong.

She reflects that the last two chief executives – relationships more than being a bank purely for transactions.

And on the move away from its Scottish branding businesses,  while being a major employer north of the border.


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