Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) could appoint Alison Rose as its first female chief executive in the coming year, The Sunday Times has reported. The news comes with the lender’s boss Ross McEwan thought to be considered for the top job at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
RBS’ share price has been steady in London this morning, having added 0.25 percent to 245.00p as of 08:43 BST, slightly underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.51 percent higher at 7,414.89 points. The group’s shares have added more than 18 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by just under 10 percent in the year-to-date.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Alison Rose, head of RBS’ commercial and private banking, was considered the internal favourite to succeed Ross McEwan at the helm of the bailed-out lender. While McEwan has not announced any plans to leave the part government-owned group, it has been widely speculated that the 60-year-old New Zealander is being considered for the chief executive post at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Headhunters are scouring the globe for a replacement to Ian Narev, who is stepping down next June.
The newspaper notes that if McEwan is selected and accepts the position, he could leave RBS in the next six months. With the bank likely to pick an internal successor, Rose is considered a top contender, having been instrumental in restructuring the balance sheet after its £46-billion government rescue. Other contenders include Les Matheson, head of personal banking, and finance director Ewen Stevenson.
The news comes after MPs demanded last week that the City watchdog publish its full report into RBS’ controversial turnaround division. The report was commissioned after allegations made by Lawrence Tomlinson, an adviser to the Business Secretary, suggested back in 2013 that the bailed-out lender had forced small company clients out of business to acquire their assets on the cheap.