What Alison Rose leaves behind at NatWest
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What Alison Rose leaves behind at NatWest

The NatWest chief executive’s resignation ends a solid if unexciting three-and-a-half years at the helm.

Photo: Reuters

Alison Rose, the first female chief executive of a top-four UK bank, steered NatWest through the early impact of Brexit and Covid-19. More recently – and more happily – she also presided over a big rise in net interest margins on the back of higher interest rates.

After her resignation on Wednesday – which followed her apology the previous day for what she described as “a serious error in judgement” – the bank’s share price fell by 3.6% in the first hours of trading.

“The departure of Alison Rose is a loss to the firm,” says Citi banks analyst Andrew Coombs in a note. “She was well-respected and had 30 years of experience at the bank. The earlier-than-expected departure also means there is a lack of obvious succession planning in place.”

Paul Thwaite, NatWest

Commercial and institutional banking head Paul Thwaite is taking over on an interim basis, subject to regulatory approval. It remains to be seen if chair Howard Davies will keep his job and also whether Thwaite will become chief executive beyond his initial, 12-month, stop-gap stint or the board will seek an external candidate.


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