Belfast Telegraph

New Zealander takes over at Ulster Bank owner

john fahey & john-paul ford rojas

Ulster Bank owner Royal Bank of Scotland has begun a new chapter after New Zealander Ross McEwan took over the helm.

Mr McEwan, who was previously the bank's retail boss, succeeds Stephen Hester who led the bank for five turbulent years following the departure of his disgraced predecessor Fred Goodwin.

Mr McEwan will be paid £1m a year plus £350,000 in lieu of a pension.

He takes the reins at a time when RBS is providing key endorsement for the Government's Help to Buy housing mortgage guarantee scheme, which is being brought forward despite concerns it may stoke a housing bubble.

He has been at the bank since August 2012, joining from Commonwealth Bank of Australia where he was group executive for retail banking services for five years. Before that Mr McEwan, who is married with two children, was executive general manager in charge of its branch network, contact centres and third party mortgage brokers.

He worked in the insurance and investment industries both in Australia and New Zealand for more than 25 years.

He spent 18 years in senior executive roles including managing director of stockbroking business First NZ Capital Securities and chief executive of National Mutual Life Association of Australasia Ltd/AXA New Zealand Ltd.

The 56-year-old is taking on what has been described as the toughest job in banking after years of controversy for RBS.

The Government holds an 80% stake in RBS.

Belfast Telegraph