Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Bank top job to go to internal candidate

By Gretchen Friemann

Royal Bank of Scotland intends to parachute an internal executive into the top job at Ulster Bank in the Republic following the shock resignation of Belfast man Gerry Mallon.

According to senior sources the UK banking giant, which remains over 70% owned by the taxpayer, favours a replacement leader from within its own vast ranks rather than an external appointment.

Ulster Bank declined to comment.

Mr Mallon's decision to quit the organisation and take up the helm at Tesco Bank - a UK-based business - a mere 18 months in to his tenure at Ulster sparked speculation about the health of the lender's corporate culture.

It also followed in the wake of Liam McLoughlin's sudden departure at Bank of Ireland. The head of retail banking, who occupied the prominent post for seven years and who made an unsuccessful application for the CEO role, left the group's headquarters last week. The bank claimed Mr McLoughlin quit to "pursue other interests".

But the string of high-level exits cap a torrid period for Irish banks as the full extent of the tracker mortgage crisis became clear last year, provoking a furious public backlash.

The sector's corporate culture has also swung into focus after the results of a Bank of Ireland employee survey - the first at the lender in almost a decade - revealed a corrosive atmosphere in some sections of the group.

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.