RBS to tap internal ranks for new Ulster Bank chief
Royal Bank of Scotland intends to parachute an internal executive into the top job at Ulster Bank following Gerry Mallon’s shock resignation last month.
According to senior sources the UK banking giant, which remains over 70pc owned by the British tax-payer, favours a replacement leader from within its own vast ranks.
Ulster Bank declined to comment on RBS’s search strategy but said a “recruitment process was underway” for Mr Mallon’s replacement. A spokesperson said: “Gerry will remain in the role while he serves his notice.”
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 post for seven years and who made an unsuccessful application for the CEO role, left the group’s headquarters last week. The bank said 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 is also in focus after the results of a Bank of Ireland employee survey – the first conducted at the lender in almost a decade – revealed a corrosive atmosphere in some sections of the group with employees reporting low levels of motivation and a lack of belief in leadership.
Documents obtained by the Irish Independent show these sentiments were most acute in the retail division, where a search is now underway for Mr McLoughlin’s replacement.