Staff Confidence At RBS Firm Said To Have Hit 'Rock Bottom'

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It's all happening over at this firm.

The Financial Times reports that the ousting of Stephen Hester as Royal Bank of Scotland’s chief executive has sent staff confidence to 'rock bottom' and is set to accelerate a recent wave of defections from the group’s investment bank, senior insiders have warned.

According to the newspaper, some RBS executives said they feared Hester’s forced resignation would undermine efforts to retain senior investment bankers.

'People’s confidence as to whether the bank still has the commitment to maintain its world-class markets business is at rock bottom', one person close to the bank said. 'There are a lot of departure discussions within the bank'.

In the meantime, The Telegraph reports that Sir Philip Hampton has asked one of the City’s best known head hunters to lead the search for a new CEO for RBS.

The bank’s chairman, who on Wednesday presided over the premature resignation of Stephen Hester, has asked Anna Mann to find a successor to run the state-backed bank.

Her involvement suggests that neither Sir Philip nor Chancellor George Osborne had identified a successor to Hester in advance, adding to speculation that his surprise departure was sparked by a sudden disagreement.

Finally, Reuters reports that RBS will struggle to recruit a suitable replacement for Hester, someone who must steer it through privatisation and accept that political interference comes with the job.

Hester's departure presents RBS with the near-impossible task of finding an ideal candidate - an experienced banker untainted by the industry's scandals who has the skill to deal with its biggest shareholder, the government.

Fear Hester exit will speed RBS defections (subscriber content)

RBS's Philip Hampton brings in head hunter to replace Stephen Hester

RBS faces struggle to find CEO amid political meddling


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