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Doing the Right Thing - NatWest

We all have a duty to do the right thing – NatWest adopts Day 13 of 30 days of Ethics

Our aim to serve customers well and build their trust can only be achieved by demonstrating we’ve learnt the lessons from our past and are developing a culture which prioritises responsible action.

Doing the right thing is one of four values which form the basis of how we work across our business and underpins our core purpose to serve customers well. Launched in 2013 our values of thinking long term, doing the right thing, working together, and serving customers help us to focus on making good sustainable decisions and influence how we act.

We promote these values internally by celebrating employee achievements through Living Our Values awards. It is a vital way we reward success and promote recognition for good work. It demonstrates the extra mile some colleagues are prepared to take to support customers or our wider responsibilities to society and the environment.

These values are helping us make better decisions and act better. And they help us define who we are: NatWest advert: We are what we do:

Making better decisions

Building on our values we launched a new code of conduct and the Yes Check - a tool to help employees make good decisions.

The Yes Check asks five simple questions to guide the thinking behind our decisions and actions. We know not all decisions are straightforward – it’s a tool, not a rule. But when unsure the Yes Check helps employees work through the right decision, and seek the views and guidance of others.

Acting better

The Yes Check and our code help us think better and reach better decisions. Our values also set out how we should act, and what those values mean in practice, as a responsible company doing business in a sustainable way.

MoneySense – turning doing the right thing into action

One of our flagship programmes which translates doing the right thing into concrete action for customers and the communities we serve is MoneySense. MoneySense is our impartial financial education programme for 5-18 year olds, their parents, carers and schools, and has been running for over 21 years. MoneySense is part of our history, but also part of our future, with a commitment to support another one million young people by the end of 2018. Research has shown that 95% of UK adults believe young people are leaving school without the skills and knowledge they need to manage their finances. When you add in the 1 in 5 adults who cannot read a bank statement, then the need for financial education is indisputable.

We believe you’re never too young to learn about money – our financial habits are established from as young as 7 – and that learning should be relevant, fun and engaging. As part of our commitment to being a proactive bank, we see it as our responsibility to equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge to manage their money.

We created MoneySense, in collaboration with education experts, to support the curriculum in England and Wales and the programme is accredited by the Personal Financial Education Group (pfeg). All of the content — videos, games, quizzes and interactives — are tailored to different age groups and are based around key money moments in a young person’s life, helping them to understand financial basics such as budgeting, saving, planning ahead and online security. The resources can be used by young people independently, by parents to start a conversation about money, or by teachers as a lesson in the classroom.


Our approach to MoneySense is putting ‘doing the right thing’ into the heart of what we do:

  • We are a bank so it’s crucial that people understand our products and services, and understand how to budget, save and interact with financial products, and therefore we see ourselves as deliverers of financial education
  • We want to work in partnership to address challenges together
  • We want to listen to recipients of our programmes and meet their needs
  • We want our employees to make the connection between their day job and our role with the wider community

We have found that linking key sustainability actions to the essence of our role as a provider of financial goods and services motivates staff to get involved. Our staff believe in the benefits of the MoneySense programme. More than 2,500 staff are registered as volunteers going into schools and supporting the delivery of workshops and sharing their skills and experience.

Volunteer Chris Woods, who works in Commercial and Private Banking, said:

"Over the last few months I have made a difference to over 300 young people. They had fun and learnt new skills in managing money. The teachers also enjoyed it, they had some free help and some of them learnt something new too! I received countless thank you letters and discovered how rewarding it is to support schools through MoneySense.”

We have also broadened our approach with a section on our website specifically aimed at families, as a result of listening to parents and carers who do not always feel confident discussing money with their children. To help get those conversations started we have created games, tools and resources to help learning at home.

Find out more at mymoneysense.com

Kirsty Britz

Director of Sustainability, RBS
Kirsty joined RBS as Director of Sustainability earlier this year.

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