Tough task ahead of new finance director at RBS

The RBS head office in Edinburgh
The RBS head office in Edinburgh
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STATE-BACKED LENDER Royal Bank of Scotland has named a Credit Suisse executive who advised the group on its £45bn taxpayer bail-out as its new finance director.

Ewen Stevenson, 47, takes on the key role following the abrupt resignation of predecessor Nathan Bostock – who announced in December that he was to quit just two months after starting the job.

Mr Stevenson will start on May 19, with Mr Bostock due to become deputy chief executive to Ana Botin at Santander UK.

Mr Stevenson has been handed the daunting task of overseeing a balance sheet crippled by £46bn of losses over the past six years, at a business that is 80 per cent owned by the taxpayer.

He joins after 25 years at Credit Suisse, where he rose to become co-head of investment banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and advised the Treasury on its bail-outs of RBS and Lloyds Banking Group at the height of the financial crisis.

Mr Stevenson also advised on the restructuring of Northern Rock into a good bank and bad bank.

He was, like chief executive Ross McEwan, raised in New Zealand, though the finance director was born in the UK.

Mr McEwan, who took over from Stephen Hester at the bank last October, said: “Ewen has spent many years working with the world’s leading banks.

“In recent years he has been a trusted adviser to both governments and company boards on the steps needed to restore confidence in financial institutions following the crisis.

“At RBS we are determined to re-earn the trust of our customers and our continued financial health is central to that task. Ewen shares our vision for building a great customer bank and I look forward to working with him.”

Shore Capital analyst Gary Greenwood said: “We view this as positive news as it removes uncertainty around the position and should therefore enhance investor confidence in the company.”