- Rick Haythornthwaite Considered as New NatWest Group Chairman
- Controversy Surrounding Nigel Farage’s De-Banking
- Search for Permanent Successor to Dame Alison Rose
Rick Haythornthwaite, Centrica and Network Rail chairman, will succeed Sir Howard Davies as government-sponsored lender chairman.
Rick Haythornthwaite, a City grandee who has chaired companies such as Centrica and Network Rail, is being considered as the new chairman of NatWest Group following the controversy surrounding Nigel Farage’s de-banking.
Mr. Haythornthwaite, the current chairman of Ocado and the AA, will likely succeed Sir Howard Davies in the coming days.
Following the disclosure of his prospective appointment, city sources indicated that an announcement may be made as early as Wednesday.
Mr. Haythornthwaite is one of the most seasoned executives in the United Kingdom, having led several companies, including MasterCard International.
The closing of Mr. Farage’s Coutts accounts has hurt NatWest, which is nearly 40% taxpayer-owned, in recent weeks.
Subsequently, it was revealed that the bank had considered Mr. Farage’s reputation and political views, prompting one of the most heated debates to engulf the British banking sector in recent memory.
The chairman’s approach to the controversy fueled Mr. Farage’s fury at the taxpayer-backed lender’s treatment of him.
Several investigations into the scandal are currently ongoing, including two that were commissioned by the bank.
This week, the Financial Conduct Authority issued its terms of reference for its investigation into the industry’s treatment of PEPs.
Sarah Pritchard, the FCA’s executive director for markets, stated, “These rules adhere to international standards and are intended to keep the financial system clean, free of corruption, and to prevent financial crime.”
It is essential that they are implemented proportionally and do not create unneeded barriers for public servants and their families.
The designation of Dame Alison’s permanent successor will be Mr. Haythornthwaite’s highest priority.
Paul Thwaite, a bank executive, was promoted to replace her temporarily and may be permanent.
Government officials likely trusted Mr. Haythornthwaite, an industrialist rather than a banker.
During his tenure at MasterCard, he supervised the acquisition of VocaLink, a vital component of Britain’s payments infrastructure, and he recently oversaw a review of the Ministry of Defense’s armed forces incentive program.
Sir Howard always intended to retire before the bank’s 2024 annual meeting, and he won’t rush.