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RBS boss’ appointment paves way for early arrival of McEwan

Ms Rose, who runs RBS’s commercial arm, is considered the preferred candidate to succeed Ross McEwan. However, RBS chairman Howard Davies said in April the bank would also consider external candidates.

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RBS did not confirm the reports. Instead, it said: “The process to appoint Ross McEwan’s successor is ongoing. Our next CEO will be confirmed in due course, once an appointment has been made.”

The appointment of Ms Rose in coming weeks will help speed up NAB’s transition to a new leadership team.

When announcing Mr McEwan’s appointment in July, NAB said it expected the respected banker to start in April next year or sooner depending on when RBS appoints a new boss.

Mr McEwan’s appointment followed the shock resignations of NAB chairman Ken Henry and chief executive Andrew Thorburn in February following a damning assessment in the final report of the banking royal commission of their understanding of the cultural issues that led to misconduct at the bank.

Mr Thorburn left his role in February after the announcement. Dr Henry remains on the NAB board as a director.

Phil Chronican has been named chairman of NAB.

Phil Chronican has been named chairman of NAB.Credit:SMH

Following their resignations, NAB director and banking stalwart Philip Chronican stepped into the role of acting CEO while the bank conducted a global search for a new boss. Mr Chronican was appointed chairman by the bank’s board of directors in March.

Mr Chronican will replace Dr Henry in November. The bank then plans to put in an “interim management arrangement” in place until Mr McEwan arrives, at which point Dr Henry will resign from the NAB board.

NAB declined to comment.

Ms Rose has worked at RBS for 25 years and has held several senior positions at the bank including most recently as the CEO of RBS’s private and commercial banking business and deputy CEO of RBS subsidiary NatWest Holdings.

She has been the favourite to replace McEwan, with speculation of her potential appointment beginning before Mr McEwan’s formal resignation.

Ms Rose is expected to have beaten other high-quality candidates to take the top spot at RBS, if the reports prove correct.

This includes HSBC’s UK boss Ian Stuart, former Lloyds executive Alison Brittain and internal candidate Mark Bailie, who is RBS’ chief operating officer.

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