Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) (NYSE: RBS.US) named Ross McEwan as its new chief executive among its interim results this morning, while the shares fell by 5% in early trade.
McEwan joined RBS in September last year from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to take charge of the bank’s retail business, with predecessor Stephen Hester commenting: “He has made a very positive impact since joining RBS last year and has a track record of strong accomplishment in customer focused banking.“
The incoming CEO went on the charm-offensive by stating that he did not want to receive an annual bonus for this year and next, following the controversy over Hester’s £800,000 bonus as the taxpayer-funded bank announced losses of more than £5bn back in February.
It was a broadly positive statement this morning, with RBS’s fall in share price likely attributable to a big push yesterday of around 5% following fellow state-owned bank Lloyds‘ return to profit.
Royal Bank of Scotland posted pre-tax profits of £1.37bn, compared to losses of £1.68bn in H1 2012, as the bank reduced operating losses, which came in at £(6,780) against £(7,433) in the comparative period last year. The period also marked RBS’s first two consecutive quarters of growth since 2008.
Outgoing CEO Hester went on to say:
“RBS’s journey from “bust bank” to “normal bank” is largely done. But no small task remains – to harness the energies and strengths that have driven the Bank’s recovery, and to take RBS towards the target of being a “really good bank” for customers, shareholders and society as a whole.
“RBS half year results show the huge progress since 2008. They also highlight the challenges left. While completing capital build and loss elimination looks wholly achievable, the Bank needs some time to finish these tasks.”
Whether the bank’s swing out of the red and into the black is prompting you to invest in its shares, take the time to thoroughly do your research first — the banking industry is a minefield of regulation (just ask Barclays!)
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> Sam owns shares in Barclays but no other company mentioned.