NatWest chair Sir Howard Davies has introduced that he’ll step down from his function on the UK excessive road financial institution by the center of subsequent 12 months.
Talking on the lender’s annual assembly in Edinburgh on Tuesday, Davies mentioned it was time for NatWest to start out on the lookout for his substitute. “I’m approaching the purpose the place I’ll have served eight years on the board so it’s applicable to provoke the seek for my successor as chairman within the coming months,” he mentioned.
Davies mentioned he anticipated the handover to happen earlier than he reaches 9 years of tenure in July 2024, the utmost really useful time to serve within the function below the UK company governance code.
Davies is the longest-serving chair among the many large 4 excessive road banks, having held his submit since September 2015. NatWest shares have fallen greater than 20 per cent since he took over and 1 per cent because the begin of the 12 months.
“One would have hoped the share worth would have been even stronger however that’s the best way banks are valued for the time being,” mentioned Davies, though he emphasised that NatWest was now a “regular financial institution” fairly than the “outlier” it was when he took over.
The “rigorous search course of” for his successor can be led collectively by the senior unbiased administrators of NatWest Group and NatWest Holdings, he mentioned.
Earlier than becoming a member of NatWest, Davies served as chair of the Monetary Companies Authority, deputy governor of the Financial institution of England and director of the London College of Economics. Within the Nineteen Eighties he was a particular adviser to then chancellor of the exchequer Nigel Lawson.
Different board modifications embody the departure following the AGM of Mike Rogers, a former Barclays banker and chair of credit score checker Experian. Morten Friis, who beforehand held senior roles at Royal Financial institution of Canada, is because of go away in July after 9 years on the board.
NatWest, recognized till 2020 because the Royal Financial institution of Scotland, continues to be 41.5 per cent owned by the federal government following its £46bn bailout in 2008. The UK authorities earlier this month introduced it was extending the timeline on a “buying and selling plan” to scale back its stake, though it nonetheless supposed to completely divest its shareholding by 2025-26.
Its shares on Tuesday have been buying and selling round 270p, considerably under the 502p per share that the federal government paid to bail out the financial institution.
NatWest was the primary main lender to announce that it was departing from the crisis-stricken CBI on Friday, because the UK enterprise foyer group struggled to get better from weeks of damaging allegations about its poisonous office tradition.
Talking after the AGM, chief government Alison Rose emphasised the “want [for] a great sturdy voice for enterprise”.
The financial institution is because of report its first-quarter outcomes on Friday. Within the three months to December it reported a 12 months on 12 months tripling of pre-tax working revenue to £1.4bn.