Page 10

INTERVIEW

GRAY MATTERS

Andy Gray

Andy Gray, Managing Director, Head of Corporate and Commercial Coverage for NatWest and RBS, on the state of UK business, the referendum, and the resurrection of Williams & Glyn. Your remit is for the UK. How do you manage such a diverse collection of regions each with their own individual issues? My business covers the commercial and corporate segments across the UK, from Orkney and Shetland down to Devon and

and colour. I’ve got a very big business in Manchester, which has different needs to the North East or the South West of England, so I’m interested in the whole of the UK performing well. Aberdeen is having a tough time because of oil and gas, and the Northern Irish economy is structurally quite different in terms of public sector and agriculture and food processing

Cornwall and across to Northern Ireland. I

being the dominant elements. So you get some

have six Regional Managing Directors who

regional differences, but my business wants

are very senior bankers in their territories. I

and needs to see business succeeding across

spend a lot of time travelling around, trying to

the whole of the UK.

In general, how is UK business faring? We’ve had a decent couple of years in terms of growth, seeing business invest a bit more – that manifests for us in terms of lending growth. We’ve worked hard to generate that appetite for getting people back investing and growing, which clearly is one of the wider challenges for the UK economy. I think times are uncertain at the moment, and getting on with running a business, and with investing are challenges for some people just now.

see what we’re doing well, what we could do

The South East is pretty resilient. Being

better and how the business is performing.

so close to London has its downside, but on

Clearly, there are some big regional differences

balance the access to a huge and vibrant

in terms of the makeup of the local economy

market, and the trickle-down from that, is

and prosperity. But we’re the market leader in

very helpful. You get the benefit from a highly

most areas, and with that market share comes

educated population; it’s a place to which

both opportunity and an obligation to support

people will happily migrate, either domestically

that this is a political decision and we are not

business.

or internationally, because the quality of life is

taking a campaigning position. Our number

good.

one priority is to support our customers

I’m always interested in local dynamics

10

Do you see the referendum on 23rd June as one of those uncertainties? Where do you stand on the debate? Certainly. As an organisation we recognise

Profile for Platinum Business

PLATINUM BUSINESS MAGAZINE - ISSUE 22 - SURREY  

The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...

PLATINUM BUSINESS MAGAZINE - ISSUE 22 - SURREY  

The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...