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Report: RBS approached Whitbread boss as search for new CEO expands

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC has sounded out Alison Brittain, CEO of hotels and restaurant operator Whitbread PLC, about potentially becoming its new CEO, Bloomberg News reported July 30, citing people familiar with the matter.

The British bank is looking for a replacement for Ross McEwan, who has been in the post since 2013, during which he returned the bank to profitability and doubled annual profits to £1.62 billion in 2018. He is set to become the new CEO of National Australia Bank Ltd., which is facing misconduct allegations.

Brittain, formerly head of retail banking at Lloyds Banking Group PLC, was not interested in the position, one of the sources said. She is among several candidates to have been contacted by the bank, with Ian Stuart, CEO of HSBC Holdings PLC's ring-fenced unit, also in the running.

Alison Rose, head of RBS' commercial and private banking business, is widely regarded to be the firm favorite to assume the role, but RBS has been broadening its search since McEwan signed up for the top post at the Australian lender, the report noted.