Aug 2 - Ross McEwan is set to take over as CEO of RBS in October, replacing Stephen Hester, who was ousted in June. As Hayley Platt reports, the announcement comes as the bank announces a pretax profit of £1.4 billion pounds, compared to a £1.7 billion loss this time last year.
1.4 billion pounds is today's daily digit in Europe - the pre-tax profit RBS made in the first half of the year. That's a turnaround from this time last year when the bank reported a loss of 1.7 billion pounds. RBS also announced a new CEO - Ross McEwan will succeed Stephen Hester in October. SOUNDBITE: Ross McEwan, incoming RBS CEO saying (English): "It is really important for the UK economy to have this bank up and running and doing what banks should be doing. Looking after customers, providing finances to individuals, small and medium sized enterprises that are the heartbeat of any economy." The New Zealander had been widely tipped for the top job after arriving to run the retail bank less than a year ago. Barclays' Will Hobbs. SOUNDBITE: Will Hobbs, Head of Equity Strategy, Barclays, saying (English): "If you are going to focus on the retail operations which seems plausible then it makes sense, seems logical that you're going to go for someone with retail experience which is exactly what the new chief executive has." His task, to complete the planned restructuring and push the bank's share price above the governments break even price, so it can sell its 81 percent stake. But unlike the UK's other part state owned bank Lloyds, RBS isn't yet ready to be returned to private hands - with a sale of its shares seen as at least a year away. McEwan will be paid a salary of 1 million pounds, less than his predecessor's 1.2 million pounds - and has said he won't be taking a bonus for the rest of this year or next. The bank has made a good start to the year - it's made its first two consecutive quarters of profit since 2008 when it was bailed out to the tune of 46 billion pounds. Shares rallied 5 per cent on the news.