RBS replaces Williams & Glyn chief with Ulster boss Brown

Jim Brown
Jim Brown

Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that John Maltby will step down from his role as chief executive at Williams & Glyn, the challenger bank that RBS was forced to create as a result of rules relating to its Government bail-out at the height of the financial crisis.

He will be replaced by Jim Brown, who is currently chief executive at RBS-owned Ulster Bank.

The news comes after it was reported earlier this year that the still 80 per cent state-owned lender is facing heavy losses on the forced sell-off of the Williams & Glyn business, with the costs of carving out expected to reach £1.5bn.

Investors had already been told that building the new bank out of 314 branches has already cost £1bn, but that this was expected to rise further meaning a substantial loss is expected on the eventual float, which is expected by the end of 2016.

RBS had been ordered to sell off the branches by the European Commission as a condition of its £45bn bail-out in 2008 and revived the Williams & Glyn name, lost from high streets in 1985 when it was absorbed into RBS.

Edinburgh-based RBS said the appointment of Jim Brown is subject to the regulatory approval process and Mr Brown will remain in position to support the Ulster Bank board in identifying his successor.

Ross McEwan, RBS CEO, said: “I would like to express our thanks to John Maltby for his very significant contribution to Williams & Glyn over the past 18 months. Much has already been done in building a standalone business and we are grateful for the important role that John has played in getting the bank to this point.

“Williams & Glyn will play an important role in the UK banking landscape and will be an excellent addition to the market. Jim Brown brings a wealth of experience in retail and commercial banking and will lead the business as we move forward towards an IPO in the second half of 2016.”

Lord Mervyn Davies representing the external investors’ consortium said: “I would like to thank John for his commitment and focus in building Williams & Glyn. The delivery of a new challenger bank is an exciting proposition and we look forward to working with Jim through this next stage to IPO.”

Jim Brown added: “I am pleased to have been appointed to the CEO role at what is an exciting time for the business. We are committed to establishing a strong and credible challenger bank in the UK market and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

A statement from RBS said Mr Maltby, a former Lloyds executive, will resume his role as advisor to the external investors’ consortium.

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