NatWest announces new permanent boss and unveils highest yearly profit since 2007

By Staff

NatWest Group has appointed Paul Thwaite as its permanent chief executive, as it revealed its highest yearly profit since before the 2008 financial crisis.

Mr Thwaite succeeds Dame Alison Rose, who stepped down in the wake of the debanking row last year.

The board of NatWest said the new boss was an “outstanding candidate and the right person to shape the future of NatWest”.

Meanwhile, the banking group revealed an operating pre-tax profit of ÂŁ6.2bn over 2023, higher than analysts had estimated and the highest profit since just before the global financial crisis in 2007.

It was also up by a fifth compared with 2022, with the bank benefiting from rising interest rates pushing up the cost of borrowing.

Paul Thwaite became NatWest’s interim boss in July. He was previously running the bank’s commercial business.

Incoming chairman Rick Haythornwaite said there has been no pressure from the Government for the bank to confirm a permanent successor to Dame Alison – but said “uncertainty around the CEO is never healthy for an organisation” and that the bank had launched a “rigorous and competitive” process to find the next boss.

Mr Thwaite emerged as the “outstanding candidate and the right person to shape the future of NatWest”, he added.

The new boss took the top job on a temporary basis in July. He was previously running its commercial business.

“It is an exciting time for our sector and our bank,” he said.

“This year we are focused on the things we can control: delivering profitable growth, becoming more efficient, more productive, and simpler to deal with, while managing our cost and capital efficiently.”

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