RBS CEO unveils team, vision for London-run group

Alison Rose

On her first day as CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland Group on Friday, Alison Rose shared her vision for the company with staff — and unveiled immediate changes to what she called “my executive committee” at the London-run banking group that includes NatWest.

RBS is still 62%-owned by the UK taxpayer after its £45 billion bailout during the 2008 global financial crisis.

Paul Thwaite is appointed CEO for Commercial Banking and Peter Flavel is confirmed as CEO for Private Banking.

Rose said Commercial & Private Banking will cease to exist as one business area “but Paul and Peter will continue their close collaboration and focus on cross-referrals that benefit our customers.”

She said Olly Holbourn is already working closely with her on RBS forward plans but he will now add “Purpose, Sustainability and Ventures” to his responsibilities as Director of Strategy.

Rob Whittick is appointed Director of the Office of the Chief Executive.

Rose added: “Both Olly and Rob will now report directly to me.”

Rose becomes the first woman to be CEO of a major UK bank and RBS becomes the only FTSE 100 firm to have women in its two top executive roles.

Katie Murray was appointed as RBS chief financial officer last year.

“When my appointment to the role of Chief Executive was announced I talked about my immediate priorities, which were to develop a strategy for success, to meet as many of you as I could and to ensure we remained safe and secure,” said Rose.

“Those priorities remain, but on my first official day, I wanted to set out how I see the future for RBS, and to let you know what you can expect from me as your leader …

“At the heart of how I will run the bank is my conviction that if our customers do well, if our economy does well and if our communities do well, then we all succeed together.

“We have the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives and I will be looking for everyone to focus their efforts on what we are here to do – helping people, families and businesses achieve their goals.

“Shared success also means playing our part to help tackle the problems that can hold the country back, like the threat from climate change, a lack of financial confidence and barriers to enterprise and growth.

“These pillars will form part of our strategy.

“Simplifying what we do and making bold choices about how we deliver for customers, will also be part of an ambitious plan for the future that I will share in the New Year …

“I want to build a bank that is more open, more accessible and more inclusive.

“One that is truly representative of the communities we support.

“I also want to embed a culture of continuous learning, where personal development is second nature and where we have the skills and the mind-sets needed to compete and thrive in the digital economy.

“As well as inclusion, learning and development, I want to build a stronger dialogue with you.

“You know our customers best and you have ideas for how to improve what we do.

“I want to hear that feedback so starting today at the townhall in London, you can expect to hear about some new ways we will do that, with more to follow in the days and weeks ahead.

“I look forward to getting your input …

“With a defining period for the banking sector ahead of us, we will deliver a dynamic, confident response to the challenges we face, and build a purposeful bank that is trusted by its customers, plays its part in society and delivers for its investors.

“Momentum is a powerful thing in business, and I want us to enter 2020 ready for a big year, so let’s focus on being better every day, both individually and collectively.

“Let’s aim to exceed our objectives for the year and show our stakeholders what a great team we are.”