Ross McEwan, outgoing chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has been appointed the next head of the National Australia Bank, the companies have announced.

New Zealander Mr McEwan will remain in place at RBS until a successor has been appointed, the bank said, with chairman Howard Davies adding: "We ... congratulate him on this appointment.

"The search for a successor remains ongoing and the effective date of Ross' departure will be confirmed in due course."

READ MORE: McEwan's successor will have work cut out at RBS

Mr McEwan said earlier that it had been "privilege" to lead the bank, but now was the right time to go having put most of his restructuring plan in place.

Mr McEwan spent more than half a decade at the Edinburgh-based bank, and his tenure saw the bank cut many branches on the high street.