Blow for RBS as its head of retail banking leaves

ANOTHER senior executive joined the management exodus from taxpayer-owned banks yesterday as RBS’s head of retail unexpectedly quit.

Brian Hartzer, who also runs the bank’s wealth division and its troubled Irish business, Ulster Bank, is leaving the bank for family reasons to move back to Australia and take up a similar job, the bank said.

RBS, which is 83 per cent taxpayer owned, has had trouble holding onto investment bankers due to strict limits on bonuses, but the departure of a senior executive is a more serious blow.

Much of Hartzer’s salary was paid in shares, which have more than halved in price since he joined.

The news of his departure comes not long after the chief executive of Lloyds, 41 per cent taxpayer-owned, António Horta-Osório, went on sudden sick leave.