Royal Bank of Scotland has approached Ian Stuart, the boss of HSBC’s UK operation, about possibly becoming its next chief executive, according to a report in the Financial Times that cites “two people briefed on the discussions.”
Stuart is among the preferred external candidates to replace Ross McEwan.
The appointment of Stuart would come as a blow to Alison Rose, the leading internal candidate.
Mr Stuart spent more than two decades at NatWest, acquired by RBS in 2000 – before joining Barclays in 2007. He moved to HSBC in 2014.
“It would be surprising if his name were not in the frame given how long he spent at NatWest,” one of the people said, although they added that Rose was still the firm favourite.
Stuart declined to comment via an HSBC spokesperson. A spokesperson for RBS declined to comment, but pointed to a statement the bank issued last week saying “the search for a successor remains ongoing”.