Royal Bank of Scotland says CEO resigns

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said yesterday that Chief Executive Ross McEwan has resigned after steering it to a “stronger” financial position over the last five years.

“RBS announces that Ross McEwan has resigned from his role as chief executive officer and executive director,” read a statement from the Edinburgh-based giant on the eve of its first-quarter results.

McEwan has been at the helm since 2013 and helped guide the group to a steady recovery, after its dramatic bailout during the 2008 global financial crisis.

He has a 12-month notice period and will remain at the helm until a successor has been appointed, the group added yesterday.

“For the past five and a half years Ross has worked tirelessly to make the bank stronger and safer and played the central role in delivering a return to profitability and dividend payments to shareholders,” said Chairman Howard Davies in the statement.

“The board and I are grateful for the huge contribution Ross has made in one of the toughest jobs in banking.

“His successful execution of the strategy to refocus the bank back on its core markets here in the UK and Ireland has helped to deliver one of the biggest UK corporate turnarounds in history.

“RBS is now well positioned to succeed in the future in what is a rapidly evolving landscape for the banking sector.”

RBS was saved at the height of the financial crisis with £45.5 billion of taxpayers’ cash in what was the world’s biggest banking bailout.

The lender, in which the British government still owns a 62.4-per-cent stake, was at one stage more than 80 per cent owned by the state.

Thursday’s news came ahead of the bank’s annual general meeting in Edinburgh.

“After over five-and-a-half very rewarding years, and with the bank in a much stronger financial position, it is time for me to step down as CEO,” said McEwan, who has overseen a drastic restructuring during his tenure.

He added, “It is never easy to leave somewhere like RBS.

“However with much of the restructuring done and the bank on a strong and profitable footing, I have delivered the strategy that I set out in 2013 and now feels like the right time for me to step aside.”