Bank of Scotland governor bows out on a high note

Sir Alastair Grant is to be the next governor of the Bank of Scotland, it was announced yesterday, as Sir Bruce Pattullo said he would stand down at next May's annual meeting after 18 years at the helm. The appointment of the former Safeway boss had been expected.

Sir Bruce said he wanted to bow out on a high note and chose to make the announcement alongside record interim pre-tax profits of pounds 369.4m for the six months to August. The results were at the top end of analysts expectations, but the shares closed 5.5p lower at 506.5p.

Earnings per share rose 20 per cent in the half year to 18p (15p) and the interim dividend increased 19 per cent to 3.46p. The strong result, driven by a reduction in the ratio of costs to income to 51.4 per cent, helped the tier 1 ratio, which measures balance sheet strength, increase from 6.3 per cent to 6.8 per cent.