4 Aug 2013

NZ head of British bank aims to restore confidence

5:56 am on 4 August 2013

The New Zealander appointed as chief executive of one of Britain's biggest banks says his priority is to restore public confidence in the bank.

Ross McEwan, 56, will take up the position at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in October.

The RBS has been mired in controversy with its management accepting large bonus payments despite the bank being bailed out by the British Government.

Mr McEwan will be on a salary of £1 million and says he won't take a bonus payment for at least 15 months.

He says he wants to make people feel confident in the bank again.

"There's a special bond between RBS and the communities we operate in so there's a major responsibility for me to actually guide this organisation to focus very strongly back on our customers. I'm looking forward to that opportunity."

Mr McEwan is a former chief executive of New Zealand Capital Securities and the National Mutual Life Association and has been with RBS for a year.

The bank has reported pre-tax profits of £1.4 billion in the first half of the year, compared to a loss of £1.7bn the year before.

However, its shares took a hit on Friday as investors voiced their disappointment there had not been further improvements, the BBC reports.