With his entire 35-year career spent in banking, Robin Bulloch is keenly aware a lot of bridge-building needs to be done to regain the trust of the public.

It is not something he is taking lightly, particularly as he feels his latest post as managing director for retail at Bank of Scotland gives him a unique opportunity to engage with customers and reinvigorate a once well-loved Scottish brand.

The 51-year-old started his working life as an office junior in the Yoker Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Glasgow straight after leaving Bearsden Academy in 1978.

He said: "Yoker was three miles as the crow flies from where I lived but a million miles away in many ways."

Since then he has risen to his current position via senior roles at GE and more recently as head of Tesco personal finance, running RBS's retail estate and leading Lloyds Banking Group's general insurance business.

He said: "I've done this for a long time and it is something that I was very proud of for a long time and I am becoming increasingly proud again, but there was a period in the middle when it wasn't great.

"For the significant majority of my career it has been an enterprise which has been trusted by its customers. I genuinely believed we were providing good service and good products.

"With what has happened with PPI, Libor and the demise of some banks [then] customers need to be convinced banks are there for them."

Since starting in the Bank of Scotland job at the beginning of this year, Mr Bulloch has been trying to go to some of the 294 branches around the country.

By the end of 2013 he hopes to have been at around a third of the sites and have met with 1000 staff, or colleagues as he calls them.

His eye for detail extends to areas such as advertising and marketing as well as staff appearance.

A royal blue tie with white stripes he is wearing is a prototype that may be rolled out to workers at the bank as part of the image overhaul he is attempting.

The visits and the changes he is introducing - more managers in branches, further training for staff - are Mr Bulloch's way of making people proud to work at Bank of Scotland again.

He said: "Bank of Scotland hasn't had anybody in [sole] charge of the retail bank in about 12 years. It was part of HBOS, then Lloyds.

"So that alone has given people hope. Lloyds as custodians are pretty determined to give Bank of Scotland some clear identity as its premier brand supporting the people of Scotland, and I think colleagues are enjoying that.

"You can't talk to 600, 700 or 800 colleagues without getting some sense of whether they are happy with the direction of travel.

"We want to make sure our revenue is greater than our costs but what we want to do is give customers great service and decide that buying from us is better than buying from someone else."

While Mr Bulloch's keen to emphasise it is still "early days", he does point to a tangible difference that is already coming through.

He said: "Being thought of as trustworthy comes from delivering on your promises.

"Lloyds Banking Group is investing a lot of money in making its processes better and one manifestation of that is the reduction in complaints.

"If you take Bank of Scotland, approximately one-and-a-half per thousand customers was complaining and that is now down below one, so I genuinely think there are tangible improvements.

"It will take time to get trust levels back to where they were in the past but I'd like to think if we can keep doing what we are doing we will eventually get there."

Mr Bulloch is acutely aware the bank still plays a major part in Scottish life and in the life of its customers.

He said: "This [job] gave me an opportunity to re-establish Bank of Scotland and have more of an influence in Scotland."

One anecdote he shares is about two elderly customers he met while on their regular visit to a Glasgow branch.

Mr Bulloch said: "I absolutely understand the sharp end of this and still enjoy speaking to customers as I did for many years. I have always been seen as someone who is a champion of the customer.

"I was in the Anniesland branch and I met two ladies, Phyllis and Peggy, who were 95 and 94, and they were regaling me with stories of their youth.

"They go into that branch every week and do a nominal transaction but they chat to staff for quite a period of time - I was there for an hour and they were there for more than half that - have a cup of tea and the staff are always really friendly to them.

"I'm not sure there are many organisations who would willingly and gladly accept customers like that."

There is a further sense of social responsibility in the charity work it takes on, be it staff taking days out to "raise money or paint fences" or the bank distributing money to organisations around the country.

While Mr Bulloch, who has two daughters and lives in Strathblane with his wife, admits not every project can be funded, he clearly believes in allowing people to go beyond basic corporate social responsibility expected of large organisations and is passionate about the differences institutions can make within the communities they operate in.

He said: "There is definitely a desire to make sure we go beyond serving on the high street.

"We have 3000 people working for us and many, many of them want to do more."

Any upturn in economic activity would probably help Mr Bulloch, who did an MBA at Edinburgh University in his mid-30s, and he believes there are some sign of that happening.

He said: "We have aspiration to help support growth in the UK and part of that is helping people borrow money.

"Our balance sheet is in a much better place and we are helping more people to borrow what they want to borrow."

While Mr Bulloch - who currently reports to Lloyds Banking Group's retail chief Alison Brittain - has had many bosses during his career, perhaps the most unique experience was at Tesco Bank where he needed to report to both Fred Goodwin and Sir Terry Leahy.

While he has nothing bad to say about Mr Goodwin, he admits the role was fascinating, particularly for seeing how Tesco gets its customers "to think with them".

Mr Bulloch said: "It was a very successful supermarket bank and a great experience for me. Probably the job I have enjoyed most up until this one."