RBS clears out top executives at investment bank NatWest Markets

FILE PHOTO: Royal Bank of Scotland signs are seen at a branch of the bank, in London, Britain December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L has cleared out the top management team at its under-performing investment bank NatWest Markets, in one of the first moves to shake up the state-backed bank's executive team by new Chief Executive Alison Rose.

NatWest Markets’ CEO Chris Marks and CFO Richard Place have both stepped down, the lender said in a statement on Thursday.

An internal and external search has begun for their replacements, the bank added.

Robert Begbie and Robert Horrocks have been appointed interim CEO and CFO respectively.

Rose said the departing executives had “set the foundations for the continuing transformation and simplication” of NatWest Markets.

She added: “NatWest Markets plays a crucial role within RBS, allowing us to provide our customers with the products and services they need to succeed.”

Dismal trading at NatWest Markets in the third quarter was partly responsible for tipping RBS to a loss for the period, with analysts branding the performance of the investment bank “deplorable”.

Shareholders have been calling on RBS to radically pare back its investment banking activities to concentrate on higher-returning businesses, Reuters reported in October.

Rose, who took over as CEO on October 31, is expected to announce her new strategy for the bank alongside full-year results in February.

Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Sinead Cruise