Belfast Telegraph

Williams & Glyn management team leaving after branch sell-off plan axed by RBS

The management team heading up Royal Bank of Scotland's Williams & Glyn business is quitting just months after the lender scrapped plans to sell off the branches.

The taxpayer-backed bank said Jim Brown, chief executive of Williams & Glyn, will leave around the end of next month.

Other senior managers in his team are also leaving, including chief financial officer Leigh Bartlett, chief operating officer Chris Davis and chief risk officer Rick Hunkin.

Paul Fox, managing director of retail and business banking at Williams & Glyn, will head the remaining team on an interim basis.

The announcement, which was first made in an internal memo to staff, came just a day after the European Commission launched an in-depth probe into Government proposals to spare RBS from being forced to sell off Williams & Glyn.

RBS had been looking to sell off around 300 Williams & Glyn branches, or float the business on the stock market, to meet EU rules on bank bailouts following its rescue at the height of the financial crisis.

But the lender has struggled to offload the branches, and in February the Treasury and RBS proposed scrapping the sale in favour of an alternative £750 million plan to boost competition in the banking market in an attempt to appease officials in Brussels.

The EU antitrust watchdog is now asking for responses to the plan, which it will "carefully review" before taking a final decision on whether or not to accept the alternative plan.

An RBS spokesman said: "Jim Brown and the senior team that supported him were brought in to create a standalone challenger bank.

"As this is no longer happening, Jim and some members of the existing executive team will be leaving the bank at the end of May.

"The remaining members of the leadership team will continue to lead this part of the business whilst the European Commission considers alternative options that would fulfil our state aid commitment."