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UPDATE: NatWest confirms Ocado's Haythornthwaite as chair from April

6th Sep 2023 14:03

(Alliance News) - NatWest Group PLC on Wednesday confirmed it has appointed Rick Haythornthwaite as its new chair from April 15 next year, the move coming less than two months after the bank replaced its chief executive amid a row over the de-banking of UK politician Nigel Farage.

The announcement confirmed a report from Sky News earlier Wednesday.

The incoming chair of the state-supported lender is the current chair of Hertfordshire-based online grocer and warehouse technology firm Ocado Group PLC. He was chair of British Gas-owner Centrica PLC from 2014 to 2019 and of Network Rail Ltd from 2009 to 2012.

Haythornthwaite also was chair of Mastercard Inc from 2006 to 2020.

He will replace Howard Davies as chair on NatWest.

Haythornthwaite said: "I am inheriting a very different NatWest compared to my predecessor; one that is more customer focused, financially resilient and well positioned to maintain its recent strong performance. I look forward to working with the board to build on the exceptional progress made, so we can continue to support the UK economy and deliver for our customers and stakeholders."

In July, NatWest appointed a new chief executive officer, Paul Thwaite, replacing Alison Rose who admitted she had made a "serious error of judgment" when she discussed Farage's relationship with private bank Coutts, owned by NatWest, with a BBC journalist.

NatWest shares were 0.9% lower at 227.90 pence each on Wednesday afternoon in London. The stock is down 22% over the past six months amid the de-banking controversy.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News reporter

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