Former RBS executive faces senior City jobs ban

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The Independent Online

The City watchdog is set to ban the former head of investment banking at Royal Bank of Scotland from taking senior jobs in the financial services industry, following a year-long investigation into the division.

The Financial Services Authority launched an investigation into the running of RBS's global banking and markets business (GBM) in April last year, and is understood to be close to announcing its findings.

The investigation has particularly focused on Johnny Cameron, who ran the division for seven years and was one of the disgraced former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin's key lieutenants.

The regulator is understood to have been in talks with Mr Cameron's lawyers over a settlement that is likely to restrict his taking a senior role in a company operating at a financial services company. There has been no suggestion that Mr Cameron was engaged in illegal practices and he is not thought to be facing a fine.

Both the regulator and RBS declined to comment yesterday. Sources with knowledge of the investigation added that the FSA could target further senior managers at the division – none of whom is still employed at RBS.

Mr Cameron has already been blocked by the FSA from joining an independent investment bank. He was forced to break off talks with the boutique adviser Greenhill in April last year after the regulator indicated that he would not receive formal approval while the GBM division remained under investigation.

He had spent over a decade at RBS, and was credited with driving the expansion of the company's corporate lending business. After growing annual profits every year since taking the helm in 2001, Mr Cameron joined the board of RBS in 2006.

Two years later he had stepped down from the board, as the company reeled in the wake of the disastrous acquisition of ABN Amro and the collapse of the financial markets. Mr Cameron officially left the group in March 2009 with a pension payout of £1.3m.

His next role proved shortlived, as he was forced to resign from the recruitment agency Odgers Berndtson a week after his role as a senior adviser emerged.

He departed as the City headhunter lost the prestigious mandate to search for a new chief executive of UK Financial Investments, the body that oversees the government stakes of the part-nationalised banks.

At the time Mr Cameron said he had joined Odgers to contribute to the firm's success, adding: "If there is any risk at all that I could in any way damage the firm, it is clearly best that I step aside."

Richard Boggis-Rolfe, managing partner of Odgers, said the company "did not correctly read the public mood with regard to former senior executives of RBS".

The FSA has continued its "get tough" stance after it hit the former Northern Rock number two David Baker with a £504,000 fine and a ban from the City. Another executive Richard Barclay was fined 140,000.

There is an expectation that more former Rock executives could face censure.