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RBS chief Ross McEwan returns Down Under to turn around NAB

21 July 2019

Royal Bank of Scotland noted that outgoing chief executive Ross McEwan had been selected to take up the same role at National Australia Bank.

At NAB, McEwan will replace Philip Chronican, who will replace Ken Henry as the bank's chairman.

Royal Bank of Scotland boss Ross McEwan, who completed one of the biggest United Kingdom corporate turnarounds in history, has been hired to help fix one of Australia's biggest banks.

"One of the things that does attract me to NAB, (are) probably similar to the reasons I went to RBS, that there are many challenges here that I believe I can be very helpful to this bank to get itself through", Mr McEwan said.

Mr McEwan said the smallest of Australia's big four banks, while financially strong despite setting aside $1.1 billion in customer remediation and cutting its dividend to its lowest in nearly nine years, needed to shift its focus from quarterly financial metrics to doing right by consumers. Articles appear on for a limited time.

"We must also meet and exceed the expectations of our many stakeholders".

He said it was important to "protect and accelerate" NAB's transformation of its operations and culture into a better bank, a comment analysts read as signalling a restructuring beyond the bank's current digitisation project, which aims to save A$1 billion (563 million pounds) in costs and shed thousands of staff by 2020.

The bank will provide Australian "tech-innovators" with loans, as well as facilitate access to capital markets. "RBS has been through numerous same challenges which NAB now faces around culture, trust and reputation", he said.

"We have secured a well proven CEO and reached agreement on an appropriate remuneration package when compared with domestic and worldwide peers and other sectors". He announced his resignation from RBS in April 2019. He joined the Board as a Director in 2011 and became Chairman in 2015.

McEwan will start at NAB once he has completed his obligations with RBS.

Mr McEwan's contract is a rolling contract with either Mr McEwan or NAB able to terminate it by giving the other party 26 weeks' notice.

Potential to earn between 0% and 150% of fixed remuneration.

Mr McEwan's long-term incentives are fixed at up to 130 per cent of the fixed salary over four years.

Vesting of all variable rewards remain subject to ongoing Board review in accordance with the applicable terms. It is not expected that Mr McEwan will be provided with any commencement benefits, subject to final approvals affirming retention of existing rights.

/Public Release. View in full here.

RBS chief Ross McEwan returns Down Under to turn around NAB