RBS: New boss, new priorities?

New RBS chief executive Ross McEwan. Photo: Press Association

For many months, the bank that we own has been the subject of a political tussle over how to plot its future. Tomorrow we'll hear not just from its new chief executive for the first time, but also, from the Treasury on whether it has finally decided to split up the bank.

All the expectation is that won't happen, the Treasury, and many executives inside the bank, were just not willing to go that far. Even some who believed in the idea of dumping billions of dodgy assets into a separate pot thought that it was too late to move, given that RBS has travelled a long way down the road of sorting itself out, and shedding many billions of bad loans. There is no question that the uncertainty has been a drag on the bank.

Tomorrow that is likely to end with a decision not to carve RBS into a 'good bank' and a 'bad bank' - and go for full separation, but to put perhaps more than 30 billion of assets gone sour, like some loans from their troubled business Ulsterbank, into a new internal division, with a plan to sell them off separately.

The idea is, get rid of the bad stuff more quickly and the rest of the bank will be able to crack on with getting back to something like normal, and getting our money back. One senior banker told me, the actual structure of what is agreed is less important than bringing the endless speculation about the bank's structure to an end.

The new chief executive of RBS, Ross McEwan, will share his plans for the bank tomorrow. Credit: Press Association

But the new boss won't just face questions on how that will work, and who would want to buy billions of dodgy debts? He'll also have to explain how he will improve RBS' record on lending to small business.

A report RBS themselves commissioned that will be published along with the bank's results in the morning is expected to make grim reading. RBS has the biggest share of critical lending to small and medium sized businesses, but there are plenty of horror stories that have built up evidence, and also damagingly created perception, that the bank we own doesn't want to lend.

Ross McEwan will also face questions on what is plans for the bank are. RBS has already made thousands of job cuts, and sadly there are likely to be more, as he slims down and reshapes the publicly owned bank. But more than anything perhaps although he might not like to be asked, we'll want to know when he thinks taxpayers will get their money back.