Hester completes RBS clear-out as last Goodwin lieutenant stands down

Gordon Pell is the latest RBS director to retire with a huge pension

Royal Bank of Scotland has completed the total clear-out of the executive members of the board who steered it through the takeover of Dutch rival ABN Amro and the subsequent descent into financial turmoil last year.

Stephen Hester, who succeeded Sir Fred Goodwin as RBS chief executive last November, shortly after the Government was forced to bail out RBS, said yesterday that he had appointed a replacement for Gordon Pell, the only director whose role has until now remained unchanged from the previous regime.

Brian Hartzer, who is currently a senior executive at the Australasian bank ANZ, is to join RBS in order to take on Mr Pell's duties as head of its retail banking and wealth management businesses. Mr Pell will, for now, remain RBS's deputy chief executive, but he is expected to retire early in the new year.

Mr Pell's replacement follows the announcement on Tuesday that Guy Whittaker, who was appointed by Sir Fred as finance director in 2006, is to leave the bank later this year.

The two men are the only executive directors on the RBS board who pre-date Mr Hester's appointment. Johnny Cameron, the corporate banking chief whose division racked up big losses last year, stood down in October, while Mark Fisher, who ran ABN Amro following RBS's ill-fated acquisition of the bank, left at the same time as Sir Fred.

Larry Fish, chairman of RBS's US subsidiary Citizens Financial, stepped down at the end of last year before Sir Tom McKillop, RBS's chairman, quit in February.

The blood-letting has also extended to RBS's executive committee, the group of senior executives that sits just below the main board.

Mr Hester yesterday announced two new appointments within the committee, with Paul Geddes, chief executive of UK retail, becoming chief executive of RBS Insurance, and Chris Sullivan, the incumbent insurance boss, moving to head the bank's UK corporate banking unit. The shake-up means seven of the nine executive committee members have been appointed in the past 14 months.

Mr Hester said the appointments meant he had "assembled the tools to do the job", but warned that he expected RBS's recovery to take as long as five years.

He added: "The journey to standalone strength is a three- to five-year one, with tough restructuring to execute against an inclement economic backdrop."

Mr Hester is keen to draw a line under the controversies that have dogged RBS in recent months, but may be hampered by continuing protests over the rewards granted to executives perceived to have played a role in the bank's downfall.

Mr Pell is expected to retire on a pension worth just over £500,000 a year, not far off the £700,000 deal granted to Sir Fred, which provoked fury when it emerged earlier this year. Larry Fish, meanwhile, remains in the US, drawing a £1.4m annual pension from RBS.

Johnny Cameron, who is taking a pension of £62,000 a year from RBS, has also been the target of some criticism, with the Financial Services Authority, the chief City watchdog, last month questioning his suitability to join the investment banking firm Greenhill. Talks between the two parties reportedly ended after the FSA's intervention.

Sir Tom McKillop has also continued to attract awkward headlines since leaving RBS, having last month been forced to say he would not seek re-election as a non-executive director of the oil giant BP after protests against him there.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links