Rick Haythornthwaite has been announced as the new chair of NatWest Group, following a recent controversy involving the de-banking of Nigel Farage. Haythornthwaite, an experienced chairperson in various industries, will take over from Sir Howard Davies in April.
The De-Banking Controversy
NatWest faced difficulties after its former CEO, Dame Alison Rose, mistakenly briefed a BBC journalist about the closure of Nigel Farage’s Coutts accounts. This misinformation led to an inaccurate news story and eventually led to Rose’s resignation. Coutts CEO Peter Flavel also resigned, taking responsibility for the incident.
Sir Howard Davies had already announced his plans to retire, and despite calls for him to leave sooner, he stated his intention to continue leading the board. The government, NatWest’s majority shareholder, did not back Davies when asked directly.
Rick Haythornthwaite’s Vision
Haythornthwaite expressed his excitement about joining NatWest and highlighted the bank’s progress in becoming more customer-focused, financially resilient, and well-positioned in recent times. He looks forward to working with the board to support the UK economy and deliver for customers and stakeholders.