By Scott Wright

NEW Royal Bank of Scotland chief Alison Rose has wasted no time in making her presence felt at the state-backed lender, which parted company with two top executives of its investment banking operation yesterday.

The bank, which is 62.4 per cent owned by UK taxpayers, said that Chris Marks has stepped down as chief executive officer of NatWest Markets. He is followed out the door by the division’s financial chief, Richard Place.

Their departures follow a disappointing performance by the investment division in the third quarter, which posted a loss of £193 million for the period. Unveiling the results in October, the bank said the division’s rates income had come under pressure from deteriorating sentiment in the global economy, and a fall in bond yields.

Royal Bank said it has launched an internal and external search for permanent replacements for Mr Marks and Mr Place. In the meantime the bank’s treasurer, Robert Begbie, has been appointed interim chief executive of NatWest Markets. Robert Horrocks, treasury finance director, has taken over from Mr Place as interim chief financial officer.

Ms Rose, who succeeded Ross McEwan in November, said: “The directors of RBS and NatWest Markets and I would like to thank Chris and Richard for their commitment and dedication to this bank, its staff and its clients. They have set the foundations for the continuing transformation and simplification across NatWest Markets as RBS has been re-shaped to focus on serving its customers in the UK and Ireland, whilst also managing complex organisational changes around ring-fencing and Brexit. NatWest Markets plays a crucial role within RBS, allowing us to provide our customers with the products and services they need to succeed.”