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RBS Chief Executive to step down later this year


08:59, June 13, 2013

EDINBURGH, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group's Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester will be stepping down later this year, the RBS Board of Directors announced on Wednesday.

"I had a fantastic five years, and during that time we have accomplished a great deal," said Hester in a video posted on the RBS official website.

He noted that it is sensible for the RBS Board of Directors to look forward to the privatization process and a fresh face with that commitment may be good for the process.

The Board believes that an orderly succession process will give a new Chief Executive Officer time to prepare the privatization process and to lead the bank in the years that follow.

Hester will continue to lead the business until December 2013 to ensure a smooth handover, unless a successor is in post before then, said the RBS press release.

Hester was appointed to the Board in October 2008 and to the position of Group Chief Executive in the next month.

The search for a successor will commence immediately, led by RBS Group Chairman Philip Hampton on behalf of the Board, and will consider both internal and external candidates, said the RBS.

Hampton expressed thanks to Stephen for his leadership and dedication over the past five years, noting that "in the midst of a major crisis, he (Hester) accepted the challenge of stabilizing the bank, turning it around, and putting us in a position where we can begin to plan for returning the organization to the private sector. His achievements have been considerable."

He committed to continue to remove the barriers to privatization over the next year and continue to do everything possible to support the British economy.

Founded in 1727 and based in Edinburgh, the currently state-backed RBS has been pushing for the British government to begin selling its 81 percent stake in the bank, the result of a 45.5 billion pounds (about 69.42 billion U.S. dollars) bail-out during the 2008 financial crisis.

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