RBS Appoints Kiwi to “Toughest Job in Banking”
Talk about taking the hot seat. New Zealand banker Ross McEwan is taking charge at the troubled Royal Bank of Scotland, following five turbulent years under Stephen Hester, who replaced the disgraced Fred Goodwin (formerly Sir Fred). Talks about splitting RBS into two divisions – good bank and bad bank – are continuing and McEwan’s appointment to what is being described as “the toughest job in banking” comes after years of scandal and controversy.
Tens of thousands of jobs were lost and non-core assets worth more than £200 billion were sold following the bank’s near-collapse in November 2008, leading to its nationalisation by the British Government, which still holds an 80% stake.
McEwan, aged 56, will be paid only £1 million a year, a pittance compared to remuneration for large private sector bank chiefs on both sides of the Atlantic. He also receives £350,000 in lieu of a pension.
Five years on from the collapse, costing British taxpayers hundreds of billions of pounds, RBS has finally posted a profit, albeit a half-year £1.4 billion.
McEwan is married with two children and, following a five-year career at Commonwealth Bank of Australia as group executive for retail, joined RBS in August last year, also as boss of retail.