Ross McEwan Completes RBS Turnaround

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s top banker, New Zealander Ross McEwan, will leave the state-backed lender within a year, Bloomberg reports.

The bank will start searching for chief executive officer McEwan’s replacement immediately, according to a statement. Speculation has been rife on who could take McEwan’s job after RBS cleared a major US settlement last year. The 61-year-old joined RBS in 2013.

Shares in the bank fell 1.3 per cent on the announcement, broadly in line with UK banking peers, as investors digested the change.

“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,” chairman Howard Davies said in the statement.

McEwan has been telegraphing his intention to step down, previously saying he intended to stay through the bank’s 2020 plan.

Under McEwan, RBS finally swung to profit in 2017, and has generated capital far greater than required by the regulators. It even announced special dividends for the first time in 10 years.

Before that, there was a decade of losses as RBS was hit by the multitude of scandals that ensnared banks – mis-sold payment-protection insurance, Libor and foreign-exchange index rigging – even before firms settled with the US Department of Justice on how they packaged and sold the mortgage-backed securities that fueled the financial crisis. RBS, nationalised after the disastrous takeover of ABN Amro, also had to restructure its investment bank, once one of the world’s largest.

McEwan was educated at Hastings Boys’ High School, followed by Massey University, where he completed a degree in business studies and human resources. He earned a master in business administration from the Harvard Business School.

Original article by Stefania Spezzati, Bloomberg, April 25, 2019.

Tags: Bloomberg  Ross McEwan  Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)  

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