He set about delivering a turnaround strategy for the beleaguered institution, which teetered on the edge of collapse during the 2007-08 financial crisis and was taken into public ownership. Around two-thirds of its stock is still in taxpayers’ hands.
He shifted the bank’s focus from investment banking to retail banking, but RBS continued to post losses for another four years. Mr McEwan has now restored the bank to profitability, having posted a second consecutive annual profit in February.
Now feels like the right time for me to step aside and for a new CEO to lead the bank.
— Departing RBS CEO Ross McEwan
“With much of the restructuring done and the bank on a strong and profitable footing, I have delivered the strategy that I set out in 2013,” Mr McEwan said in a statement on Thursday.
“Now feels like the right time for me to step aside and for a new CEO to lead the bank.”
RBS chairman Howard Davies said his outgoing CEO had taken on “one of toughest jobs in banking”.
“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 bigggest UK corporate turnarounds in history,” Mr Davies said.
The chairman said RBS’s internal and external search for a new CEO would begin immediately.
NAB reports its interim result this coming Thursday, and may provide an update on its own search for a replacement for Mr Thorburn. Recently appointed chairman Phil Chronican is acting as CEO while the hunt goes on.