1. ITV Report

Stephen Hester to step down as RBS chief executive

Stephen Hester has announced he is to step down as RBS chief executive. Photo: Press Assocation

The man in charge of steering RBS back into private hands - retrieving £45bn of taxpayers cash in the process - is to leave the bank.

But chief executive Stephen Hester told ITV News he didn't want to go and it was not his decision to leave.

Despite this, he told ITV News Business Editor Laura Kuennsberg he is "very comfortable with the decision" to leave his job in December.

He said: "I really care about doing the right thing by the bank."

Mr Hester insisted: "The issue shouldn't be about my career...I hope [for the next person] it's an easier job."

Mr Hester will leave later this year and will receive 12 months' pay and benefits worth £1.6 million and the potential for a £4 million shares windfall from a long-term incentive scheme. But he will receive no bonus for 2013.

Sir Philip Hampton, RBS Group Chairman, said the board had been thinking about succession for a while and more in recent weeks because of the government's hope for privatisation by the end of 2014.

Chancellor George Osborne praised Hester for bringing "RBS back from the brink". Credit: Press Assocation

Chancellor George Osborne said Mr Hester should be commended for "having brought RBS back from the brink" following its taxpayer bailout at the height of the financial crisis.

He said: "When Stephen Hester took on the job at RBS in 2008 it was a bust bank with a broken culture and posed a huge risk to financial stability.

"RBS today is safer, stronger and better able to support its customers. I want to commend Stephen Hester for everything he has done to make this turnaround possible."

He added Mr Hester had "made an important contribution to Britain's recovery from the financial crisis".

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