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A file photo shows Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Chief Executive Stephen Hester speaking to media as he leaves after appearing at a Treasury Select Committee hearing at Parliament in London June 8, 2011. State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said Stephen Hester will step down as chief executive later this year and it will begin searching for a successor immediately.
A file photo shows Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Chief Executive Stephen Hester speaking to media as he leaves after appearing at a Treasury Select Committee hearing at Parliament in London June 8, 2011. State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said Stephen Hester will step down as chief executive later this year and it will begin searching for a successor immediately.
(Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

FINANCIAL TIMES

Departing RBS chief saved the bank. Who will save it now?

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Hail the conquering hero? Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders have a lot to thank Stephen Hester for, despite the outcry every time he thought about taking a bonus. True, the share price has fallen by a third during his tenure. But he has taken the bloated, bailed-out mess he inherited from Fred Goodwin in 2008 and turned it into something the government, which owns 82 per cent, can consider privatising. The bank made a £24-billion ($38.3-billion) net loss in the year he started. This year a £2-billion profit is expected.