RBS share price: Outgoing CFO says now is not optimal time for privatisation

Ewen Stevenson’s departure seen as ‘unexpected loss’

RBS share price: Outgoing CFO says now is not optimal time for privatisation

Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (LON:RBS) outgoing chief financial officer has cautioned that it is not the best time for the government to start selling its stake in the bank, The Telegraph reports. The comments came at the bailed-out lender’s annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday.

RBS’ share price has advanced in London in today’s session, having added 0.76 percent to 278.20p as of 13:40 BST. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.39 percent higher at 7,719.77 points.

CFO weighs in on privatisation plans

The Telegraph reported that RBS’ outgoing CFO Ewan Stevenson had told reporters on the sidelines of the bank’s AGM meeting yesterday that he believed that it was not the ‘optimal’ time for the government to start selling its remaining 71-percent stake in the bailed-out lender due to market turmoil in Europe sparked by the deepening political crisis in Italy, in comments confirmed by the bank.

The news comes amid expectations that the Treasury is poised to start offloading its holding in the group after RBS recently agreed a settlement with the US Department of Justice over mis-sold mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

‘Unexpected loss’

Stevenson’s comments came after RBS surprised the market yesterday with the announcement that he had resigned from his CFO role to take up an opportunity elsewhere.

The Telegraph quoted Investec analyst Ian Gordon as commenting that the ‘unexpected loss’ of the former Credit Suisse banker was ‘unfortunate’ as he was a “genuinely impressive guy” who had helped RBS navigate “really tough times”.

Stevenson has reportedly been interviewed by HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) which is looking to replace Iain Mackay as head of its finance department.

As of 14:01 BST, Thursday, 31 May, Royal Bank of Scotland Group share price is 276.90p.

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