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The Royal Bank of Scotland
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The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland

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RBS and NatWest are now providing banking services to 90 communities across the UK that, historically, have never had one of the banks' permanent branches.

The ability to bring a banking service to new areas is all down to an expanding network of mobile vans and branches. The vehicles are especially popular in remote communities where they help customers do their banking face to face even where the demand for a permanent branch isn't there.

£600,000 is currently being invested in five new mobile banks which will take the number of vehicles in the fleet to a total of 24. Each mobile branch has a team of bankers who, when taken together, drive 7,000 miles every week and make 425 stops in 357 communities right across the country.
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From the end of the year customers with Basic Bank Accounts will be able to access all LINK ATMs.

RBS has announced that by the end of the year it will re-open access to the LINK ATM network for all of its customers. This will benefit one million customers on a Basic Bank Account who have been unable to use non-RBS and NatWest cash machines. This reverses a decision taken in 2011 to limit access to ATMs and is the latest step in RBS’s plan to earn back the trust of its customers.

RBS will continue to work on its long-term plan for the provision of basic banking services for people who might otherwise be excluded from the financial system.

The changes are being driven by a desire to make customers lives easier by giving them the right products and support. RBS’s goal is to secure the long-term future of basic services for those in need and to ensure that every customer has a current account which is appropriate for their individual needs.
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Les Matheson, CEO for personal and business banking visited customers in Derby to see firsthand how NatWest is helping them.

The man with responsibility for RBS and NatWest’s 16.5 million personal and business banking customers visited Derby on Thursday to see how the bank is serving the Derbyshire area and to hear from local customers.

Les Matheson, CEO for personal and business banking, was appointed in February following a major re-structure of the bank. He will now focus his attentions on small businesses, together with personal customers, as head of one of three new businesses focused on customer service.
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ISAs are changing into a new, simpler product as part of changes announced in the 2014 Budget.

From 1 July, the ‘New ISA’ (NISA) will have an annual allowance of £15,000 – the biggest ever increase to ISA limits – and all or part can be invested in cash, stocks and shares or whatever combination of the two that you choose.
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A Dorset farmer has installed a biomass boiler as part of ongoing work to diversify and safeguard the future of his business.

Mike Miller farms 300 acres of grassland in North Dorset with his wife Anna. As well as having a herd of 65 suckler cows they are building a business around breeding New Zealand Suffolk sheep. 

Now they have introduced a biomass boiler to heat the farmhouse, a farm cottage and the on-site facilities they offer for “glamping”, or up-market camping.

The couple borrowed from NatWest and Lombard, RBS’s dedicated asset finance arm, to install the boiler, which they hope will help them cut down on energy costs.

Mike said: “We need to have different income streams to keep us on an even keel. That is why we do the sorts of things we do – it’s about not having all our eggs in one basket.”

Mike grew up on Mount Pleasant Farm near Blandford, which was taken on by his father Richard about 50 years ago. 
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Hunts Cross Dental Centre in Liverpool provides a range of services from NHS dental examinations to bespoke cosmetic treatments. The practice also has family dentistry facilities including a dental plan so families can get the best value for their care.

But Ben Harvey, who recently became a clinical director at the practice after working at the practice for five years, wants to extend the services on offer with new cosmetic options.

Hunts Cross Dental Centre currently employs 10 people including dentists, hygienists and receptionists.

Harvey said: “It’s a great place to work. I am looking to grow the practice, and would like to consolidate our position as top cosmetic dentistry practice in South Liverpool.”
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As excited eyes turn towards the World Cup in Brazil, all the action last week was in Frankfurt, home of the European Central Bank. It tried again to accelerate growth and boost inflation. Economics Weekly looks at what will happen if the ECB’s plan fails and how UK firms are continuing to perform well.
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RBS has further demonstrated its commitment to the sustainability agenda by signing up to the Green Bond Principles.

The principles are a set of industry guidelines that promote transparency and integrity when companies issue ‘green bonds’. Such bonds allow issuers to raise money for investment in projects with environmental and social benefits.

The Green Bond Principles give companies guidance on disclosure and reporting to investors about what happens to the capital that is raised. This gives investors greater transparency and the information they need to evaluate the environmental impact of the bond. The principles are also useful for underwriters, by moving the market towards standard disclosures which make transactions easier and more efficient.
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An organisation which helped the founders of Innocent Drinks on the road to success is among the winners of grants awarded by RBS Inspiring Enterprise.

Eight not-for-profit organisations that support and train budding women entrepreneurs will share a funding pot of more than £250,000 in the fourth round of Inspiring Women in Enterprise.

The winning organisations bid for funding to support a range of programmes and projects that are expected to support more than 1,000 women in the UK to develop business skills and establish their own enterprise. Projects include a plan to target women in disadvantaged areas in Tyne and Wear with business start-up advice to enterprise mentoring and master classes for women in mid-Ulster.
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Businesses from across Scotland gathered at RBS HQ in Edinburgh for the first annual Opportunity Knocks event in a showcase of the country’s entrepreneurial talent.

Attendees of RBS's Opportunity Knocks event in Edinburgh.
The new venture brings together investors, SMEs, funders and advisers in one place for one day as entrepreneurs take to the stage to pitch their business ideas in front of a live audience.
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