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RBS in multi-brand move

Firm admits proposition not working and aims to mimic HBoS version after stiff criticism from brokers.

Royal Bank of Scotland is set to overhaul its current brand strategy for intermediaries 15 months after it relaunched following criticism from brokers.

Head of intermediaries Chris Pearson admits its proposition is not working and Money Marketing understands that RBS will mimic Halifax Bank of Scotland’s multi-brand strategy, with separate business development managers for each brand.

The multi-brand strategy will see Natwest focus on specialist lending, One Account focusing on offset and First Active selling mainstream mortgages. MM has also learnt that RBS’s Intermediary Partners arm will look to push its One Account brand in the broker market as a rival to HBOS’s Intelligent Finance brand.

One broker says RBSIP will create a “mini-me” version of HBOS in an attempt to recreate its rival’s success.

Pearson, who started in his new position on May 1 after joining from BM Solutions, says: “I was brought in to look at the proposition and make changes. We do need to do something to make our brands more understandable and make them much more transparent.”

The structural changes are expected to be announced next week but RBS was not able to comment further.

John Charcol senior tech-nical director Ray Boulger says changes to RBSIP are needed.

He says: “Their last restructure did not go down very well with brokers. Through Natwest, they offered direct products more cheaply than the products they offered through the broker channel and they were able to do this without being open about it.”

In June last year, former Hampton International Mortgages managing director Kevin Duffy said RBS needed to raise its game to catch its competitors despite its four-pronged intermediary relaunch in February.

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