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
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
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.