The former chief executive of Standard Life, who has been on the board of RBS as a non-executive director since 2009, has said privately that he is not in the running to succeed Sir Philip Hampton, who is expected to retire from the post after next year’s annual general meeting.
Crombie’s name was recently linked to the post along with that of ex-KPMG executive Brendan Nelson, a fellow non-executive director. It was thought that hiring an existing director would help provide a seamless transition for chief executive Ross McEwan as he handles the complexities of reshaping the bank while dealing with government officials and some high profile legal actions.
The bank has recently lost its finance director, Nathan Bostock, who is taking up the position of deputy chief executive at Santander UK. Bostock’s replacement is Ewen Stevenson who, like McEwan, was raised in New Zealand.
Stevenson joins RBS in May from the Swiss bank Credit Suisse and played a key role in advising the UK government on the RBS bailout. His experience in dealing with the refinancing of RBS, alongside former Credit Suisse UK chief executive James Leigh-Pemberton, is seen as a key move in stabilising the bank and preparing it for its eventual move back into private hands.
In his new role, Stevenson will report to Leigh-Pemberton who left Credit Suisse at the end of last year to lead UK Financial Investments, the government body that oversees the country’s stakes in bailed-out banks.