RBS Chief Exec Stephen Hester pays visit to Sevenoaks firms

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By kentsussex | Monday, February 25, 2013, 12:28

Stephen Hester, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, paid a visit to Sevenoaks last week.

He visited the world's third biggest manufacturer of guitar strings to hear first hand how RBS is performing for customers.

Rotosound, which sells its products via wholesalers, has enjoyed a long banking relationship with NatWest, part of the RBS Group. 

The bank is currently advising the Sevenoaks-based company on how to reorganise its share ownership arrangements.

The artists who have used Rotosound strings read like a rock music Who's Who, including Jimi Hendrix, Sting, Led Zeppelin, the Stranglers and Queen. 

The company collaborated with John Entwistle, bass guitarist of The Who, to develop strings to his specification and which he used for most of his career.

Hester also visited another Sevenoaks company, Premier Alarms, which installs and services intruder alarms, CCTV, automatic gates, external perimeter  protection and safes, locks and grilles for residential and commercial use. Clients include Gatwick Airport.

The founders, Vince and Lynn Humphreys, are preparing and building the company to pass on to their three daughters. 

Last year they invested £100,000 in building a state of the art showroom, and revamped the company website and brochures.

Premier Alarms has banked with NatWest since 1999. Humphreys said: "As a company that has banked with NatWest since its inception over 25 years ago we feel the visit reflects a positive move for the RBS group to understand SMEs in greater depth."

The visit  included a meeting with local MP Michael Fallon and a round table discussion giving the region's SMEs the chance to quiz the chief executive on local issues around business and finance.

Hester said: "I met with a number of our business customers who are playing a vital role in the economy here. 

"It is encouraging for me to see that our relationship managers are really building the rapport with these customers that is crucial to knowing the needs of individual SMEs and rebuilding the trust between businesses and our bank."

Hester said he was encouraged by the dedication he had witnessed in a local branch to customer service in dealing with the personal finance needs of the community.

"I have made it clear that RBS must now ensure that our culture is always focussed on our customers and, on today’s evidence, we are well positioned to do that through the attitude and efforts of our frontline",” he said.



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