RBS clears out top executives at Natwest Markets

NatWest-RBS CEO Alison Rose

UPDATE 3 — The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS) said on Thursday that CEO Chris Marks and CFO Richard Place have stepped down at its under-performing Natwest Markets (NWM) investment bank.

Poor trading at NatWest Markets in the third quarter was partly responsible for pushing RBS to a loss, with some analysts calling the performance of the investment bank “deplorable”. 

Shareholders have been calling on RBS to reduce its investment banking activities to concentrate on activities with higher returns. 

An internal and external search is underway for successors with permanent appointments to be announced in due course.

RBS said: “During the search period, Robert Begbie, RBS Treasurer, has been appointed interim NWM chief executive officer and will join the NWM board and the NWM N.V. supervisory board.

“Robert Horrocks, RBS Treasury finance director, has been appointed interim NWM chief financial officer.

“All appointments are subject to regulatory approval.

“To assist with an orderly transition, Chris will remain with RBS until June 2020, and Richard until March 2020.

“The interim RBS Treasurer is Donal Quaid, RBS head of treasury markets.”

RBS CEO Alison Rose said: “The directors of RBS and NatWest Markets and I would like to thank Chris and Richard for their commitment and dedication to this bank, its staff and its clients.

“They have set the foundations for the continuing transformation and simplification across NatWest Markets as RBS has been re-shaped to focus on serving its customers in the UK and Ireland, whilst also managing complex organisational changes around ring-fencing and Brexit.

“NatWest Markets plays a crucial role within RBS, allowing us to provide our customers with the products and services they need to succeed.

“Prior to joining group Treasury, Robert worked in our markets division for many years and has the experience and expertise required to lead NatWest Markets.”

Chris Marks said: “I am proud to have been a part of the journey to transform the bank and I’d like to thank the many talented people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.  

“In the face of challenging operating conditions, we continued to provide market-leading products and services to our clients, whilst being relentless in improving efficiency.

“I wish the new leadership team all the best for the future and am confident that they can build on the considerable progress we have made in recent years.”