Frequently asked questions

Ring-fencing FAQs

1. What is ring-fencing?

Ring-fencing will require large UK banks to separate their core retail banking services from their investment and non-European banking activities by 1 January 2019. This is to protect the retail banking activity from unrelated risks elsewhere in the banking group and shocks affecting the wider financial system. It reduces the likelihood that essential banking services used by ordinary depositors are put at risk by a failure in another part of the business, such as investment banking. To find out more about ring-fencing visit the NatWest Markets ring-fencing website, or download a copy of our ring-fencing customer brochure.

2. Are all banks implementing ring-fencing in the same way?

No. The legislation specifies the core retail activities that must be provided within ring-fenced banks. It also states which activities must not sit within ring-fenced banks, but which may be provided by other parts of the group. Outside these requirements, there is some flexibility for banks when deciding how to restructure. For instance, the legislation does not specify what sort of entity may carry out activities such as mortgage lending or taking deposits from large corporates. Some banks will place these activities in their ring-fenced banks, with their retail deposit-taking operations, but others may not. Some banks have existing legal entities that can become ring-fenced or non ring-fenced banks, while others will need to establish new legal entities. Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays and Santander are all subject to ring-fencing legislation.

3. How will RBS implement ring-fencing?

By the end of 2018, we intend to place the majority of our UK and Western European banking business in ring-fenced banking entities. The activities of NatWest Markets Plc (formerly the Corporate & Institutional Banking activities of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc) and RBS International Holdings Limited Ltd, will be placed outside the ring-fence, both entities operating as direct subsidiaries of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (“RBS Group plc”). In line with regulatory requirements, RBS Group plc will continue to be the primary issuing entity for funding and capital raising activities. As from 1 January 2019 RBS Group plc will operate its banking activities in compliance with the ring-fencing requirements and its ring-fencing plans.

4. What are the steps to get there?

To comply with the UK ring-fencing requirements, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (“RBS Group plc”) has:

  • Transferred the banking facilities of most of our existing personal, private, business and commercial customers from what was The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (RBS plc) to the former Adam & Company PLC, our current Scottish private bank for the start of business on 30 April 2018.
  • Renamed the former Adam & Company PLC to The Royal Bank of Scotland plc on Sunday 29 April 2018.
  • Renamed what was The Royal Bank of Scotland plc to NatWest Markets Plc on Sunday 29 April 2018, to bring its legal name in line with our NatWest Markets brand.

The renamed entity, NatWest Markets Plc, will be a non ring-fenced bank and a direct subsidiary of RBS Group plc.

5. Where can I read about the wider RBS changes?

Our announcements in September 2016 and again in January 2017 have more detail about ring-fencing and the legal entity changes. Further announcements will be added to this page when available. You can also read more on the RBS ring-fencing website.

6. When will these changes take place?

Our ring-fencing changes need to be completed by 1 January 2019. In April 2018 we successfully completed the first of our two Ring-fencing Transfer Schemes, as well as the renaming of:


  • The Royal Bank of Scotland plc to NatWest Markets Plc.
  • RBS Securities Inc. to NatWest Markets Securities Inc.
  • RBS Securities Japan Limited to NatWest Markets Securities Japan Limited.


We will update customers on our future progress towards implementing ring-fencing in the coming months.

7. When did you change your legal entity name from The Royal Bank of Scotland plc to NatWest Markets Plc?

We renamed our legal entity on Sunday 29 April 2018, in advance of the introduction of ring-fencing legislation on 1 January 2019. If you would like to know more you can visit, which includes a guide outlining how to find the change of name certificate on the Companies House website, which evidences the name change to NatWest Markets Plc.

8. Does NatWest Markets Plc have its own credit rating?

Yes. NatWest Markets is targeting an investment grade senior unsecured debt rating. For more information on our credit rating please view our Investor Factbook.

9. I have an existing markets trade booked to The Royal Bank of Scotland plc – has this moved to NatWest Markets Plc?

No. We have only changed our legal entity name, from The Royal Bank of Scotland plc to NatWest Markets Plc. Our registered company address, company registration number, etc. have not changed.

10. Are you changing your strategy to focus on UK markets?

No. Our strategy is not changing. We will continue to support both our corporate and financial institution customers as we do today. NatWest Markets will continue to have trading and sales hubs in Stamford and Singapore, with onshore sales offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Trade is global and it is important for our customers that we can offer them access to financing and currencies in different markets, while also distributing their risk to global investors.

11. What has happened to RBS Securities Inc. (RBSSI) and RBS Securities Japan (RBSSJ)? Have these entities also been re-named to NatWest Markets Plc?

Yes. We changed the legal entity names of RBSSI and RBSSJ on 30 April 2018, in line with the NatWest Markets Plc parent entity. If you require evidence of the renames of RBS Securities Japan Limited and RBS Securities Inc. to NatWest Markets Securities Japan Limited and NatWest Markets Securities Inc., please liaise with your usual NatWest Markets contact in Asia or the US respectively.

12. Can I still do the same things with NatWest Markets?

Yes. There is no change to our strategy. We will continue to support both our corporate and financial institution customers as we do today.

13. Following the legal entity name changes which took place for the start of business on 30 April 2018, will I see a change to documentation used in the capital markets?

No. Existing legal documentation continues to be enforceable and the legal relationship between your company and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, RBSSI or RBSSJ did not change when renamed NatWest Markets Plc, NatWest Markets Securities Inc. and NatWest Markets Securities Japan Limited respectively.

14. Where can I find out more about the NatWest brand?

NatWest is our flagship customer brand in England and Wales. It has been operating since 1968. The renaming of RBS Corporate & Institutional Banking to NatWest Markets in December 2016 is a clear demonstration of our commitment to our wholesale banking proposition. Find out more about the NatWest brand and its history here.

15. If my operational banking relationship will be inside the ring-fence, will these changes impact my sort code or account number?

Other than for a very small number of customers who we have contacted directly, no, these changes will not impact customer sort codes or account numbers.

16. What is the purpose of the RBS AA Holdings (UK) Limited (‘AAH’) legal entity?

AAH will be a holding company for acquiring certain strategic equity investments, together with other non-franchise specific assets that are not permitted to be held in the ring-fenced bank sub group*.

*Proposed legal entity structure remains subject to regulatory and other approvals.

17. Will NatWest Markets still be able to debit an account, e.g. a EUR account, if there are insufficient funds in that account but sufficient funds overall across all my accounts?

No. The specific account to be debited must have sufficient funds available as it cannot be taken overdrawn other than within the agreed overdraft limit. If sufficient funds are not available within the cut off time, the settlement of the trade will be moved to the next working day.

Back to ring-fencing information

You can find information about changes to our payment details here.

Set Tab for lightbox