- AffiliationNatWest Group
- 2020 Rank8
In her first year as CEO of U.K.’s NatWest Group—one of Britain’s top four banks—Alison Rose faced COVID-19 business challenges and the ongoing task of disentangling the lender from a contentious legacy involving its mistreatment of small-business customers after the 2008 financial crisis. In 2020, the bank suffered a $471 million operating loss, mainly because of provisions taken to cover a surge in bad loans. At the same time, the lender grew in key areas like mortgages and commercial lending. In the first half of 2021, Rose led NatWest’s return to profitability—the bank recorded a pretax profit of $3.4 billion, compared to a $1 billion loss for the same period last year. Under Rose’s leadership, NatWest in 2020 provided $16.2 billion in funding for climate and sustainable finance related initiatives; $2.7 billion in funding for female entrepreneurs; and $8.1 billion in support for small- and medium-size businesses. NatWest this February also issued a $1.2 billion affordable housing social bond—the first of its kind by a U.K. bank—as part of a promise to provide $3 billion to the affordable housing sector by the end of 2022.
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