I am very pleased to report progress at RBS on shareholder engagement with individual investors.
The next event will take place on Tuesday 10 September 2019, 6pm – 8pm in London.
If you are interested in attending this event please email your full name, postcode and Shareholder Reference Number (if known) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 23 August 2019.
On the 25 November 2019 RBS are planning a virtual shareholder event. Further information regarding this event and how to participate will be made available soon.
I spoke today on the phone to Gary Moore, Head of Remuneration Governance & Share Registry, in the Legal, Governance & Regulatory Affairs Department of RBS, who had emailed me in response to my request that they hold more retail shareholder events. I had given him the example of Lloyds of how useful a meeting was and it was nice to hear his positive feedback: “I spoke with the Lloyds Investor Relations team following the event and they were very pleased with how it went. It sounds like it was well received.”
During 2019 RBS will continue with their suite of events aimed at individual shareholders. The events provide an opportunity for shareholders to ask questions to a panel and learn more about the business, our progress to date and our plans for the future. see https://investors.rbs.com/shareholder-centre/shareholder-events.aspx .
It appears RBS have learned from the previous events, eg the July 2017 RBS Shareholder event which was hijacked by other stakeholder groups. The RBS shareholder event at their London HQ on 31 July 2017 was attended by nearly 200 shareholders. RBS invited 40,000 of its South East based shareholders and had 280 acceptances before they closed the list. There is clearly demand from many shareholders to attend such events, unlike the AGM at which there were less than 90 shareholders (other than current staff) present, although part of the reason may have been the Edinburgh location of the AGM.
My note of the last meeting is here https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/rbs-shareholder-event-hijacked-stakeholder-groups/ , in which I made these points – the “shareholders” were actually made up of several different groups and they tended to think of things from a stakeholder perspective. I identified these stakeholder groups:
- Most of their questions were about the customer experience and their most hostile questions were about branch closures.
- Ex employees. Within this group there were different subgroups, e.g. National and Provincial, Westminster, NatWest.
- RBS pensioners and representatives of pensioners (e.g. the London Secretary of the RBS Pensioners Association, who said lots of people talk to her about branches that have shut).
- Members of the RBoS Action Group, who split up into those who were in the latest settlement and those who were late joiners and currently excluded (I declare an interest, my wife is in this category).
- Those non-members of the RBoS Action Group, who split up into those who were not told of its existence until too late and those who made a personal decision not to join the Action Group.
- Shareholders who looked at the issues from a shareholder perspective.
The first 5 groups effectively hijacked the Q&A session. They monopolised the time and set a tone, culture and style which was less than conducive to a useful shareholder meeting. I do not deny that the first 5 groups have legitimate concerns,…..
I stressed to Gary the problems of the last event and we said this time the focus will be on an analyst type presentation and business strategy. I hope many members will attend. Please note the meeting is restricted to those who own shares, including those who own shares via nominee.
Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director and RBS Shareholder Committee Coordinator
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