While indiscretion may have led to her departure the latest results from NatWest suggest former CEO Alison Rose was making a decent fist of her day job.
After years of struggle following its forced nationalisation during the 2007/8 financial crisis, Rose had probably got the bank as close to normality as any of her predecessors and there will be real frustration that NatWest is back in crisis mode, undoing much of that good work.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “This is not an unblemished update. The trimming of guidance on the company’s net interest margin hints at the problems for banks, under big political and regulatory pressure, of charging more to borrowers without offering more to savers too, particularly with mounting competition in the savings market.
“And, while earnings beat expectations, this reflected several one-off items and did not reveal too much about the underlying performance of the bank.
“The scandal over confidentiality and the way it has played out is a reminder to other investors that the Government remains a major shareholder and, as such, has real influence on the way the bank is run. This is not a reminder the market is likely to receive positively.
“While bad debts remain under control for now, the pressures on UK households are acute and this remains an issue which could flare-up for NatWest and the other banks.”