UK

Ross McEwan Named As Head Of RBS, Profits Rise

02/08/2013 08:53 BST | Updated 01/10/2013 10:12 BST
PA

The Royal Bank Of Scotland has named Ross McEwan, a retail banking boss, as the successor to outgoing chief executive Stephen Hester.

Mr McEwan, originally from New Zealand, will take on the job from October 1 on a £1 million salary and receive a £350,000 cash payment in lieu of pension.

The 56-year-old has asked to defer awards under his current role until 2017 and to forgo an annual bonus as chief executive for 2013 and 2014, but will be eligible for a long term incentive award next year.

The announcement came alongside half-year figures showing RBS swung out of the red with pre-tax profits of £1.4 billion against losses of £1.7 billion a year earlier, following its first two consecutive quarters of growth since 2008.

Philip Hampton, chairman of RBS, said Mr McEwan was taking on a job that was "among the most important and challenging in the business world".

He added his appointment came after an international search including internal and external candidates.

He said: "With his extensive experience in banking and the leadership that he has shown in his time at RBS, Ross will be a great chief executive for the group.

"Ross has already become a champion for customers in our business and will continue that role as chief executive."

Mr McEwan will take the helm just over a year after joining RBS as chief executive of UK retail last September.

He said: "Stephen Hester and all of our employees have done a remarkable job in saving this bank.

"And now five years on we are ready to focus on the future.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us and I'm very much looking forward to getting started."

In his last set of major figures before handing over the reins at RBS, Mr Hester: "RBS's journey from 'bust bank' to 'normal bank' is largely done.

"But no small task remains - to harness the energies and strengths that have driven the bank's recovery, and to take RBS towards the target of being a 'really good bank' for customers, shareholders and society as a whole."

But RBS became the latest bank to set more cash aside for mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI), confirming another £185 million to cover claims, taking its total bill for the scandal to £2.4 billion.

It also revealed £385 million put by for legal and regulatory costs as it faces a raft of ongoing litigation cases and investigations, including for ongoing action in the United States related to the Libor rigging scandal.

Chancellor George Osborne welcomed Mr McEwan's appointment and said he was impressed with his "vision of RBS as a strong, UK-centred corporate bank that is focused on supporting the British economy".

He said: "He'll provide the leadership RBS needs as the bank puts the mistakes of the past behind it, and the Government seeks to get the best value for the taxpayer from the money the last Government put into the bank."