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NatWest on the hunt for permanent CEO - report

(Sharecast News) - UK banking group NatWest has reportedly hired the services of a headhunter to find a permanent replacement for former chief executive Dame Alison Rose, who left the company abruptly last year as part of the Nigel Farage debanking scandal. According to Sky News, the bank has appointed executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help incoming chair Rick Haythornthwaite to find Rose's successor.

Paul Thwaite, the former head of NatWest's Commercial & Institutional franchise and Payments business who joined as interim CEO for an initial 12-month period in July after Rose's exit, is thought to be the top choice for the leadership position.

Haythornthwaite is due to take over from Sir Howard Davies, who will step down as chair in April after nine years at the helm of the board.

Last July, Rose and the board agreed by mutual consent that she should step down in the wake of controversial closure of former politician Farage's Coutts account, which he claimed was a political decision.

An independent investigation into the scandal last year found that the move to close his accounts was indeed lawful, but identified "a number of shortcomings" in how the decision was reached, how the bank communicated with Farage and how it treated his confidential information.

NatWest's share price was down 0.5% at 266p by 1444 GMT.

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