Off Balance: Good Month/Bad Month – January 2014

Good Month
Stephen HesterFormer Abbey finance chief Stephen Hester can be pretty pleased with himself. After leaving RBS not exactly immune from criticism, but with his reputation intact, he’s strolled into another huge turnaround job – this time as RSA chief. With £200m swallowed up by its Irish division, Hester will get another chance to turn that ship 180 degrees.


Bad Month
Speaking of former Abbey finance chiefs (and another ex-RBS man), it hasn’t been such a good month for Nathan Bostock. The Prudential Regulation Authority wasn’t impressed with plans to name him deputy chief exec and chief risk officer at Santander. The risk role has instead gone to Keiran Foad.

queens-speech-2013-c-voa-news-webHer Majesty the Queen, of all regal people, took some flak from the Public Accounts Committee. Well, the financial management of the Royal Household did, anyway. The household had dipped into its ‘rainy day’ funds, leaving just £1m in its coffers.


Margaret HodgeBut the PAC didn’t have it all its way. Chair Margaret Hodge faced verbals from the Treasury for her and other PAC colleagues’ “grandstanding”, warning that it was impacting foreign investment. The PAC has campaigned against tax avoidance, including many storming meetings with corporate executives. Hodge, typically, hit back, saying the Treasury should “have the guts” to tell her to her face.

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