RBS warns of difficult 'obstacles' stalling bank's recovery
Sir Howard Davies, who became chairman of the 73% taxpayer-owned RBS in September, said several obstacles remained before the bank fully recovered from its £45bn bailout by taxpayers in 2008.
Davies listed three main areas that posed a risk. He cited a long-running case in the US about the way it sold mortgage-backed bonds before the financial crisis, the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal and the ongoing investigation by the City regulator into the way its now-defunct global restructuring group treated small businesses.
“Since 2008, RBS has gone through a very difficult period, and there are still quite a few obstacles to be overcome before we’re back to full health,” Davies said.
Presenting his first set of figures since becoming chairman, Davies made clear he backed the strategy being adopted by the bank’s management, led by Ross McEwan, the chief executive.
McEwan has been reversing the global expansion that RBS embarked upon before its near collapse, withdrawing from 25 countries in a move expected to take a heavy toll on jobs. Approximately 900 posts have been lost since a year ago, reducing the number of staff to 92,400. “The years of global domination are over,” McEwan said.