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February 3, 2009    

RBS chairman steps down early

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by Kay Murchie

Sir Tom McKillop, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), who was due to retire in April, has stepped down two months early and is to be replaced by Sir Philip Hampton, former chairman of Sainsbury’s.

Commenting on his early departure, Sir Tom said ”it is appropriate to bring my retirement forward so that Sir Philip can complete the restructuring of the board and work with the board and executive teams on the strategy going forward“.

As with many other banks, RBS has suffered in the difficult financial environment, which led to the bank being part-nationalised.

Furthermore, when the Edinburgh-based bank announces its full-year results later this month, it is expected to report a £28 billion loss, primarily due to its acquisition of parts of Dutch rival ABN Amro in 2007.

Sir Tom, along with former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin, have been subject to heavy criticism for the bank’s misfortunes.

Sir Fred resigned following the bank’s first bailout last October, he has been replaced by Stephen Hester, former chief executive of British Land.

According to many analysts, Sir Tom’s early departure comes as no surprise because of the criticism he faced and because he was part of the bank’s ‘old regime’.

Sir Philip praised Sir Tom and said “he chaired RBS through unprecedented turbulence in financial markets with great dedication and integrity and the board wishes him well“.

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