RBS appoints Alison Rose as its new chief executive

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has named Alison Rose as its new CEO, set to take over from Ross McEwan on 1 November.

Currently deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and CEO of commercial and private banking, Rose will become the first women to lead one of UK’s four biggest banks – RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and HSBC.

Rose joined the RBS banking group – which includes NatWest and Ulster Bank – 27 years ago as a graduate trainee. McEwan is leaving RBS after six years at the helm to become chief executive of National Australia Bank.

Rose will reportedly be paid slightly more than her predecessor, with her annual salary set at £1.1m, compared to McEwan’s £1m.

The UK government still has a 62% stake in RBS, after it was bailed out with £45.5bn of taxpayers’ money during the financial crisis. But under McEwan, the bank has recently returned to profitability.

Commenting on Rose’s appointment, RBS chairman Howard Davies said: “I am delighted that we have appointed Alison as our new CEO. She brings extensive experience and a track record of success from her previous roles at the bank. Following a rigorous internal and external process, I am confident that we have appointed the best person for the job.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Ross, on behalf of the board, for his leadership and commitment during his time as CEO and wish him the very best for the future” he added. “Ross leaves a strong platform for his successor; a bank that has refocussed on its core markets in the UK and Ireland and resolved all its major legacy issues, while returning to profitability and paying dividends.”

Rose said of her new role: “It is a huge honour to have been appointed as the new CEO of RBS and I am looking forward to getting started. As one of the oldest and most important financial institutions in the UK, we have a key role to play in supporting the economy and championing the potential that exists across the country.

“This is an exciting time as we enter a new chapter for this bank. Our industry is facing a series of challenges; from the ongoing economic and political uncertainty to shifts in the behaviour and expectations of our customers, driven by rapid advances in technology.”

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