RBS shakes up board


RBS shakes up board
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is shaking up its board and has appointed British Land's chief executive Stephen Hester as a non-executive director.

The bank has also persuaded the former chief executive of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, John McFarlane, and former Prudential Financial chairman, Arthur Ryan, to come out of retirement.

The two will join Mr Hester as non-executive directors at the bank, while those currently in the role, Lawrence Fish and Charles Koch, will retire ahead of the AGM in April 2009.

Mr Hester will also step down from his role as non-executive chairman of Northern Rock to take up the job with RBS.

Sir Tom McKillop, chairman of RBS, said: "I am delighted that Stephen Hester, John McFarlane and Art Ryan have agreed to become independent non-executive Directors of RBS.

"Their experience in financial services will be of great benefit to RBS given the increasingly diversified and international nature of our powerful banking franchises."

RBS announced its first loss in its 40-year history as a public company earlier this month after writing down £5.9 billion of investments.

Shareholders have called for the resignation of Sir Tom and Sir Fred Goodwin, the chief executive, over the results.

British Land also admitted it has been affected by the economic slowdown last week, as its net assets fell in value by around five per cent over the first quarter. The property developer has put its plans for an iconic London building, nicknamed the Cheesegrater, on hold.

The firm insisted it is "pleased" with the departure of its chief executive.

Chris Gibson-Smith, chairman of British Land, said: "This reflects well on our chief executive and the perspective gained will be of relevance to his role at British Land given the influence of financial markets on real estate."

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