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Apologetic banker resigns top post

RBS deputy chief executive Sullivan quits bank

RBSA senior Royal Bank of Scotland executive who was forced to apologise over incorrect statements he gave to MPs over its treatment of small business clients has left his post.

Chris Sullivan, deputy chief executive, quit on New Year’s Eve. The bank had signalled that he would leave this year, but he appears to have departed earlier than planned.

Mr Sullivan, 57, last year wrote to Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee,  to correct a statement he made to MPs in June over the alleged mis-treatment of the bank’s small business clients.

Mr Tyrie said the bank’s executives had been “wilfully obtuse” in their evidence to Parliament.

In his apology, Mr Sullivan agreed that the bank’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) division had behaved as a profit centre, despite his repeated denials to the committee and those of fellow RBS executive Derek Sach.

Sullivan, an employee of RBS for almost 40 years, became deputy chief executive to Ross McEwan in February when the chief executive reduced seven units to three. Sullivan was head of the corporate bank from August 2009 to January 2014.

Claims about the bank’s attitude to small firms emerged in evidence provided by Lawrence Tomlinson, a Government adviser. He alleged that GRG was asset stripping small businesses after putting them into administration and taking profits from selling their property.

Former Bank of England deputy governor Sir Andrew Large also claimed in a report of his own that GRG was an “internal profit centre” which was abdicating its role of attempting to rescue these businesses.

RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton wrote to Mr Tyrie apologising for the actions of his executives but claiming that he did not believe they intended to misled anyone.

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