COVID-19 has ‘changed everything’, RBS Chairman says

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FILE PHOTO: Royal Bank of Scotland signs are seen at a branch of the bank, in London, Britain December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) chairman Howard Davies said on Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic had “changed everything” and its impact on society and the economy would likely be “stark and long-lasting”.

In comments to investors at the bank’s annual investor meeting — held virtually to comply with social distancing rules — Davies said the sharp fall in the bank’s share price during the crisis made it unlikely the government would sell further stock in the state-backed bank soon.

Chief Executive Alison Rose said the bank was doing everything possible to support its customers, many of whom were facing — and would continue to face — extremely challenging circumstances.

“Every person, family and business has been affected by the current situation and the group has been doing all we can to support our customers and the communities we serve and will continue to do so long after this first phase of response has ended,” Rose said.

Reporting by Iain Withers and Sinead Cruise, editing by Kirstin Ridley

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