RBS Boss Ross McEwan Addresses Brexit
Ross McEwan surprised markets in October when Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc made a provision related to Brexit. With Theresa May’s divorce deal from the European Union potentially days away from being defeated, the New Zealander is not any less concerned.
“I have been a backer of the deal because, for the moment, I don’t see another deal,” McEwan, who has been chief executive officer of the state-owned British lender for five years, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. The economy needs more certainty, because right now “investment isn’t being made,” he said.
He warned that many RBS business customers are not ready for a hard Brexit based on conversations he’s had, and few have made contingency plans for an outcome that could result in a recession for the UK. McEwan pointed to the bank’s 3-billion-pound fund that will be used to help customers through Brexit should they need it.
“We are going to hold a lot of strong liquidity so we can fund our customers,” McEwan said. There may be a rush as companies do things like secure storage space to extend their supply chains, he said.
McEwan, 61, also addressed his own succession. “There’s a bit of life left in me,” he said, indicating he intends to stay through the bank’s 2020 plan. “There are a lot of things to do.”
Original article by Stefania Spezzati and Francine Lacqua, Bloomberg, December 6, 2018.
Photo by Simon Dawson.