RBS Cancels Wimbledon Hospitality Amid Crisis
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is cancelling corporate hospitality packages to the Wimbledon tennis championships estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds as it tries to contain the public relations crisis caused by the systems failure that left millions of customers without access to their money.
I have learnt that RBS, which is majority-owned by British taxpayers, is to close its suite at the All England Club in south-west London from Wednesday for the duration of the tournament. Staff involved in RBS's sponsorship and hospitality teams will be informed of the decision this evening. The move, which I am told has been approved by Stephen Hester, the bank's chief executive, has been taken in order to avoid an intensification of the criticism which has beset RBS since last week. Senior RBS executives believe the bank's taxpayer-owned status and the current crisis mean that pictures of staff enjoying lavish hospitality packages would compound the reputational damage. RBS has routinely faced criticism since its Government rescue in 2008 for continuing to sponsor the Six Nations rugby union tournament and hosting clients at major sporting and other events. The bank spent vast sums of money associating its name with prominent sporting events and personalities during the reign of Fred Goodwin, whose objective was to establish RBS as one of the world's leading financial services groups. I should declare an interest here, in that like many other journalists I was due to go to Wimbledon as a guest of RBS during this year's tournament. There is little doubt, though, that the bank's decision is the correct one given the inadequacy of its response to the software glitch. Mr Hester has apologised to customers but the bank has been inundated with complaints about the problems involving NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank.
It has admitted Ulster Bank - worst-hit by the technical breakdown - will continue to experience the effects until next Monday. On the hospitality decision, one insider said: "It would be inappropriate for senior staff to be distracted by entertaining clients at Wimbledon when responding to the crisis is the priority for the bank." My understanding is that the decision to close its suite will stand even if the crisis is resolved before Wimbledon ends in just under a fortnight's time.
RBS has refused to comment on a report that a technician in Hyderabad, in India, caused the breakdown. The company maintains that its systems are controlled in the UK.
what do you think?
I as a tax payer have never been asked if i want this shower living it up at my expence , i dont bank with these wasters but most if not all baks are as bad as one another .
Mike RBS has paid back the money borrowed from the tax payer as has Lloyds TSB
Michael, if they've paid back all the money then why are the British taxpayers still the majority shareholders? Mr.Hester; it has been obscene for any bailed out bank to have held corporate hospitality suites from day 1 of their bailout!
Why not invite a few ordinary customers who have suffered from the glitch as an appoligy
How come my bank has never invited me to a hospitality P.U. ?
If I were an RBS customer I would vote with my feet and be knocking at Nationwide Building Society's door............... Any one who sticks with a bank after that deservs everything they get.
I have said it time and time again...if you want to hurt these people, you can only do it to their pockets... National Boycotts of organisations like these are the answer...AND THE ONLY ANSWER. Now people will immediately say..ah yes but what about the economy? To that I reply, you are very naive if you think those storing up the economy are doing it for the likes of us. If you bank with RBS, you deserve what you get.
TESCOS for example. Their call centre and administration is run from Bangalore, India. If we all stopped buying from Tesco, guess where they would have the call centres and guess who would get jobs....
Lloyds TSB has its credit card centre in the Philippines! The lines are appalling. I agree, companies doing business in the UK should employ people in the UK.
The right decision in the circumstances, but it won't save money as most of it will have been paid already, up front.