RBS loses markets CRO

Brush set to launch new venture; RBS’s group CRO also on way out

Photo of Martyn Brush
RBS: exit of Martyn Brush (inset) comes after the bank’s group CRO announced his own departure in November
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Royal Bank of Scotland has lost Martyn Brush, chief risk officer (CRO) of the UK bank’s trading division, NatWest Markets. In addition to the markets CRO role, Brush was also RBS’s group head of market and pension risk.

Brush left the bank in December and is understood to be launching a new venture.

The move comes after RBS’s group CRO, David Stephen, was revealed to be departing the bank shortly to join Australia’s Westpac in the same role. In a November 13 press release, RBS chief executive Ross McEwan thanked Stephen – who joined in 2010 and took up the group CRO job in 2013 – and praised the bank’s “excellent risk team”, saying it was “doing a great job”.

Vanessa Bailey, RBS’s chief credit officer, has taken on the role of CRO for NatWest Markets on an interim basis. It’s understood Andrew Cross – director of enterprise-wide risk at RBS – will take on Brush’s responsibilities for non-traded market risk.

A spokesperson for the bank confirmed Brush’s departure.

Brush was promoted to his current role in 2013, having previously headed the market risk role for RBS Global Banking & Markets, a post he’d held since joining the bank at the start of 2010.

Brush’s previous roles include a spell as managing partner of a private equity fund that invested in distressed US banking and finance companies, and two-and-a-half years as chief operating officer for the global banking and markets business at HSBC Americas.

While at RBS, he was at times an outspoken critic of the bank’s risk-taking, and of wider industry practices. In 2013, speaking at an industry conference, Brush said the bank’s UK inflation derivatives business had run up exposures that were “way outside” his risk appetite – in part, because of the long-dated nature of many inflation swaps, and the ratings-triggered termination clauses that many end-users insisted on.

“We as an industry didn’t think about the consequences of writing those clauses into agreements,” Brush said at the time.

UPDATE: This article was updated on January 8 to add the information that Vanessa Bailey is the interim CRO for NatWest Markets.

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