Jobs lost as NatWest PR merges into RBS

NatWest is to lose a minimum of 15 senior PR jobs, including that of corporate affairs director Terence Collis, his deputy Ben Woodford and head of public affairs Amanda Jordan.

NatWest is to lose a minimum of 15 senior PR jobs, including that

of corporate affairs director Terence Collis, his deputy Ben Woodford

and head of public affairs Amanda Jordan.



The job losses are the result of the merger of the bank’s corporate

affairs department with that of its new parent company, the Royal Bank

of Scotland.



The merger of two departments into one RBS Group function under

Edinburgh-based communications director Howard Moody was formalised last

week, with a party to mark the event doubling as a leaving celebration

for Collis, Jordan and Woodford.



Prior to the RBS purchase of NatWest in March each bank maintained its

own corporate affairs function of roughly 50 people, although RBS

sources claimed the NatWest division had been run down to as low as 25

in recent months as rival bidders fought for control of it and some

senior staff ’jumped ship’. The new RBS communications directorate which

- in addition to the NatWest and RBS will have responsibility for the

company’s share in Virgin’s and Tesco’s finance services - will now only

number 60.



The new department will be run on a day-to-day basis in London by

Moody’s deputy Chris Wermann. His remit will cover public affairs,

archives, branding and sponsorship, as well as group, NatWest and RBS

media relations. Wermann will take up the reins at RBS when he has

appointed his successor head of corporate affairs at Direct Line,

another RBS subsidiary.



Following the staff shake-out at NatWest, Wermann is thought to be

looking for six PR managers to work in pairs under Jayne Goodwins on

brand PR, Anthony Frost on corporate banking PR and David Appleton in

group media relations.



The merger has led to several internal communications job losses. This

function at NatWest was based on an intranet, while at RBS there was an

in-house television station - Royal Bank TV - which broadcast to over

600 of the bank’s 700 branches.



These have also been merged, with the TV station and intranet coming

under the group internal communications head April Blacklock. The group,

now the UK’s third largest banking services company, has over 90,000

staff with whom it needs to communicate.



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