Banking

RBS sees flurry of executives leave including Bó’s CEO

Bó, the digital challenger bank created by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), is about to lose its current CEO Mark Bailie just two months after its launch and amid a high-profile social media campaign.

RBS chief Alison Rose, who joined the bank back in November becoming the first female to lead a major UK bank, is carrying out “a shake-up of management,” according to Sky News.

RBS chief Alison Rose

Bailie, who was considered a potential rival to Rose’s appointment as chief, is expected to step down on or before 14 February – the day RBS is to announce its full-year results. This will also be when Rose sets out her strategy for the future of the bank.

Prior to the launch of Bó, The Telegraph reported sources who said there was internal conflict over whether it was even worthwhile launching the challenger considering the chance it could be unsuccessful. RBS spent more than £100 million on building the app which now employees 170 people to run it.

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CEO of RBS’s retail bank Les Matheson announced his departure in October less than two weeks before Rose formally began her position, and David Wheldon – RBS’s chief marketing officer (CMO) – is expected to retire this year, leaving two more executive vacancies for the bank to fill.

In December, it was revealed that Chris Marks, the chief executive of RBS’s investment banking arm, NatWest Markets, would step down alongside finance chief Richard Place.

The bank’s chairman Sir Howard Davies is also set to leave in the coming months, giving Rose a clear run at reshaping the bank at its most senior levels. One of her main objectives will be to steer RBS back to full private ownership, as part of a government project to reduce the 62% stake UK taxpayers have in the bank by 2024.

The latest to depart – Bó’s CEO Bailie – rejoined RBS in 2010 after spending five years at Barclays. It was his job to reduce the number of bad loans on the bank’s balance sheet.

Upon her joining the bank in November, Rose hinted at the management reshuffle. She said the bank was “too complex”, admitting “we have too many processes and are too cumbersome”, asserting that “continuing to reduce the bad costs across the bank […] will be critical”.

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