Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Stephen Hester: Rise and rise of top banker

How he became RBS boss

Quitting: Stephen Hester
Quitting: Stephen Hester

Stephen Hester was born in 1960 and grew up in North Yorkshire.

An Oxford graduate, he was appointed group chief executive officer of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group in November 21, 2008.

Previously he served as the chief executive of The British Land Company PLC, a property group where he had overseen a dramatic restructuring.

He has also worked as chief operating officer of Abbey National plc and prior to that he held positions with Credit Suisse First Boston, including chief financial officer, head of fixed income and co-head of European Investment Banking.

He joined CSFB straight from university.

He took the helm at RBS in the place of disgraced Fred 'the shred' Goodwin, who famously had his knighthood, awarded in 2004 for "services to banking", "cancelled and annulled" in February 2012.

The bank cost taxpayers £45bn of bailout money in 2008 and 2009 and remains 82% owned by the government.

Mr Hester has come under fire for his large bonuses, his lavish hunting, shooting and fishing lifestyle and the fact that he owns three homes – one in Notting Hill Gate in London, Broughton Grange, a 350-acre estate in Oxfordshire and a chalet in Swiss ski resort of Verbier.

However more recently he waived a bonus after an embarrassing IT glitch that saw customers, including thousands in Northern Ireland, unable to access their money.

He has also agreed to sell RBS's US subsidiary and scale back its investment banking arm.

Last week it emerged that British taxpayers paid more than £10bn to bail out Ulster Bank.

Ulster Bank has received a £2.93bn capital injection from RBS in the last year alone.