According to the Financial Times, NatWest chairman Sir Howard Davies has revealed his intention to leave the UK high street bank by the middle of next year.
Davies stated at NatWest’s annual meeting in Edinburgh on Tuesday that it was time to start looking for his replacement. “I am approaching the point where I will have served eight years on the board, so it is appropriate to initiate the search for my successor as chairman in the coming months,” he said.
The UK corporate governance legislation recommends that a person serve in a position for a maximum of nine years, which Davies said he expected the turnover to occur before he reaches in July 2024.
Davies has been the chair of the four major high street banks since September 2015.
NatWest shares have dropped by more than 20% since he took over, and by 1% since the beginning of the year.
“One would have hoped the share price would have been even stronger but that’s the way banks are valued at the moment,” emphasising that NatWest was no longer an “outlier” when he took over.
The “rigorous search process” for his replacement would be overseen jointly by NatWest Group and NatWest Holdings’ senior independent directors, he said.
Davies has been a significant figure in the City of London for four decades, formerly serving as chairman of the Financial Services Authority and deputy governor of the Bank of England.
He was a special adviser to Britain’s then-finance minister Nigel Lawson in the 1980s, and he eventually became director of the London School of Economics.
Mike Rogers, an experienced Barclays banker and chair of credit checker Experian, also left the board following the AGM. Morten Friis, a former senior executive at Royal Bank of Canada, is set to depart the board in July after nine years on the job.