Sources in the bank confirmed the move occurred earlier in August. Coulson spent one year and eight months leading marketing at Virgin Media Mobile in London. She is now head of marketing and digital innovation in the commercial banking team at RBS.
She will look to build brand equity at the group as it looks to lean on a more localised approach, leaning on Natwest in England and Ulster Bank in Republic and Northern Ireland. The RBS brand has a long path to recovery after being heavily fined in the US and swallowing £2.1bn of UK taxpayer's money.
Coulson has 20 years of experience in the industry, spending eight years at Coca-Cola from 1998 to 2007. She then had stints at Apple, Lenovo, Samsung, EE, B&Q, Travelodge, Savills, Knight Frank, and ISG before joining Virgin Media.
She will work under chief marketing officer David Wheldon, who joined the company in 2015 from Vodafone. Earlier this year, Wheldon pitched in on the placement of his bank’s ads. He said the brand would not pull ads from The Daily Mail. Brands, he argued, should not be the "judge and jury on what’s appropriate content".
The move comes as the group restructures in an attempt to “ring-fence” its retail and investment operations. The move will help insulate potential loses in the investment bank from impacting consumer and retailer savings.
On the brand side, RBS is looking to reign in its global presence. In 2016 it even pulled back from England and Wales to make way for sister brand Natwest. In Ireland, it leant on the Ulster Bank brand. At the time, chief executive Ross McEwan, said: “As the bank itself became a global brand, RBS became the global brand. I'm now saying we no longer have global aspirations, we have local aspirations."
The decision comes eight years after the bank almost collapsed and had to be bailed out by the government. Since then RBS has wound down its international sport sponsorship portfolio, which used to include the likes of Six Nations rugby and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.