Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) have lost ground in London this morning, as the bailed-out lender announced that its finance chief was stepping down. The news comes as the part government-owned bank prepares to hold its annual general meeting today amid reports that the Treasury is poised to start trimming its stake in the group.
As of 08:17 BST, RBS’ share price had given up 0.68 percent to 278.10p. The shares are underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing at 7,632.98 points, flat in percentage terms.
Ewen Stevenson to step down
RBS announced in a statement this morning that Ewen Stevenson had resigned from his role as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director to take up an opportunity elsewhere. The company, however, noted that the effective date of his departure will be confirmed in due course and that he will remain in his position to oversee an orderly handover of his responsibilities. The bailed-out lender noted that it would start the search for a successor immediately.
“The Board and I are sorry to learn that Ewen has decided to move elsewhere,” RBS chairman Howard Davies commented in the statement, while chief executive Ross McEwan noted that Stevenson had worked ‘tirelessly’ to make the bailed-out lender “a much simpler, safer and more customer focussed business and to resolve a number of major legacy challenges”.
Berenberg upbeat on lender
In a separate development, Berenberg lifted its price target on RBS from 300p to 340p, while reiterating its ‘buy’ rating on the shares. Proactive Investors quoted the analysts as saying that during the last year, the bailed-out lender had settled £13 billion of legacy issues, and that they believe its recent settlement with the US Department of Justice marked the end of this period. The broker further reckons that the FTSE 100 group has continued to build capital during the resolution of these issues, meaning it has £5 billion of excess capital, or around 40p per share, after dividends.