Emma Crystal will become chief executive of NatWest’s wealth business, including Coutts
NatWest Group has announced the appointment of a UBS executive, Emma Crystal, to head its wealth business, including Coutts.
This comes after a crisis that led to the resignation of two bosses. She will take over as chief executive in the summer, moving from her role at the Swiss banking giant where she managed the sustainable finance unit.
The shake-up follows the resignation of Peter Flavel, former boss of the wealth division, who admitted that Coutts had not met its high standards of personal service. This was in relation to how it handled the account of Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the UK Independence Party ( Ukip ), who claimed his account was closed due to his political views.
This sparked a series of issues for the bank. NatWest’s CEO, Dame Alison Rose, confessed to making a “serious error of judgment” when discussing Farage’s case with a BBC journalist. She stepped down in July under pressure.
However, an independent review commissioned by NatWest found no evidence of discrimination based on political views in Coutts’ decision to close customer accounts. Despite this, the bank acknowledged there were “lessons to be learned” and issued an apology to customers.
The new head, Ms Crystal, will be working under NatWest’s temporary boss Paul Thwaite and will also be part of the Coutts board. She’s had top jobs in wealth management at Credit Suisse, which UBS took over last year, and started off in investment banking at Deutsche Bank.
Ms Crystal shared her excitement about joining the team: “I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues to deliver the exceptional service our clients deserve.” Mr Thwaite praised Ms Crystal’s vast experience in wealth management, calling her the “ideal person” for the job.