Business

New RBS boss tasked with restoring bank to health

New Zealander Ross McEwan was confirmed as boss of Royal Bank of Scotland today, tasked with laying the foundations for Britain to start selling its 81 percent stake in the bank.

McEwan, 56, had been tipped to take the reins after predecessor Stephen Hester was ousted by the government in June. He will take over in October with a brief to complete the bank's restructuring and lay the platform for its shares to rise above the government's break-even price so the stake can be sold.

Finance Minister George Osborne said McEwan had impressed with his vision of RBS as a "strong, UK-centred corporate bank", focused on supporting the UK economy.

"I think he'll provide the leadership RBS needs as the bank puts the mistakes of the past behind it, and the government seeks to get the best value for the taxpayer from the money the last government put into the bank," Osborne said.

Britain pumped 45.5 billion pound (about RM215 billion) into RBS to keep it afloat during the 2008 financial crisis

Chairman Philip Hampton, who oversaw the search for Hester's successor, said McEwan "emerged as the best candidate" and was the only person to be offered the job after the bank had considered internal and external options. His promotion comes less than a year after he arrived to run RBS's retail arm. - Reuters, August 2, 2103

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