THE chief executive of National Australia Bank, Cameron Clyne, will personally oversee the restructure of the bank's under-pressure British arm after its long-serving European chairman, Sir Malcolm Williamson, outlined plans to step down next month.
Mr Clyne will step into the role of chairman of Clydesdale Bank and NAB Group Europe on the retirement of Sir Malcolm. The British board shake-up comes just weeks after NAB outlined plans to slash jobs and close dozens of branches to stem losses as the British bank battles a worsening economic outlook.
The overhaul of NAB's underperforming business will cost it $710 million in restructuring charges and provisions over the next year as its Clydesdale Bank stages a retreat to its heartland markets in Scotland and northern England.
Still, the loss of the well-connected Sir Malcolm, who has headed up the British board since 2006, is a blow to NAB. The career banker previously held chief executive roles of credit card provider Visa International and during the 1990s headed the Asia-focused Standard Chartered bank.
As well as retiring from Clydesdale Bank, Sir Malcolm will step down from National Australia Group Europe, the broader banking group that takes in institutional lending and markets.
Over the weekend, NAB named four British finance experts to join the board of Clydesdale Bank.
The changes are part of ongoing board renewal, NAB said in a statement.
The appointments include David Allvey, the former finance director of Barclays and Barbara Ridpath, the former European boss of ratings agency Standard & Poor's.
NAB's British business posted a $36 million loss in the first half, with margins and revenue down. The scaling back of Clydesdale follows an ambitious expansion, which included the roll-out of nearly 100 financial services centres in southern England.