Scotland business

Clydesdale Bank boss David Thorburn quits National Australia Bank committee

David Thorburn
Image caption The results follow a decision to make big cuts to the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks

The head of the Clydesdale Bank is to step down from the group that controls its Australian parent company to focus on turning around the UK operation.

David Thorburn, chief executive of Clydesdale Bank, will no longer sit on the executive committee of National Australia Bank (NAB).

The announcement from Melbourne came as NAB reported weaker figures for the Glasgow-based lender.

It said its commercial property loans were "continuing to deteriorate".

NAB said this deterioration reflected ongoing weakness in the UK economy, and that bad and doubtful debts were lower at the Clydesdale "but remain elevated".

Overall, the 2012 second quarter's results for Clydesdale Bank were weakened by lower revenue, mainly from increased funding costs.

'Difficult steps'

In results described by group chief executive Cameron Clyne as "stable", the emphasis was on the Australian core to NAB, for which there was a warning about the challenge from the global economy, notably in the eurozone and US.

The results follow a decision, announced in April, to make big cuts to the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, with 1,400 jobs to go, an exit from commercial property lending and a scaling down of its business operations, mainly in England. It was reported that NAB had sought a buyer for its UK bank, but failed to find one.

David Thorburn said: "We are moving forward with our strategy to become a stronger and more competitive business following our strategic review announcement.

"My priority has always been the UK business, and stepping down from the group executive committee will enable me to dedicate all of my time to this important restructure programme.

"The steps we are taking are difficult, particularly for our employees, but it is clear we have the right plan and I am confident that what we are doing is in the best long-term interests of the organisation and our customers."

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