RBS finance director 'to step down'

Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland's finance director is to step down, it was reported today.

Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland's finance director is to step down, it was reported today.

The departure of Guy Whittaker - reported by several newspapers - will all but complete the clear-out of the bank's senior managers since the British government intervened to rescue the firm with taxpayer cash.

Mr Whittaker - who joined RBS in February 2006 after 25 years at Citigroup - was paid an £829,000 (€929,478) salary in 2008 as well as a £282,000 (€316,179) pension contribution.

His leaving package will be closely scrutinised as RBS - unavailable for comment today - looks to avoid accusations of "rewards for failure" and a repeat of the spectacular row over former chief executive Fred Goodwin's £703,000 (€788,182) a year pension.

New chief executive Stephen Hester has been charged with restoring the fortunes of RBS - which reported a UK record £24.1bn (€27bn) loss last year - at the head of a radically altered management team.

With the reported departure of Mr Whittaker, only regional markets chairman Gordon Pell will remain from the team which agreed the disastrous acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007 before the credit crunch struck.

RBS was forced to write off billions on the deal and the state now owns more than 70% of the bank after pumping in £20bn (€22.4bn) to prop up the business.

The taxpayer is also exposed to billions more in potential losses after RBS placed hundreds of billions of toxic debts in a Treasury-backed insurance scheme - which could see the public stake in the bank rise as high as 95%.

RBS, which will give its latest trading update on Friday, announced 9,000 job cuts in April as the firm looks to make £2.5bn (€2.8bn) in swingeing savings over the next three years to put the bank back on its feet.

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