Former AIB official leaves role as Ulster Bank’s chief risk officer

Stephen Bell believed to have thrown hat in ring to replace Jim Brown as chief executive

Ulster Bank staff were told of Stephen Bell’s  departure.

Ulster Bank staff were told of Stephen Bell’s departure.

 

Ulster Bank senior executive Stephen Bell has left his role as chief risk officer. Staff were informed yesterday that his secondment from Royal Bank of Scotland had ended.

Adrian Haines, head of credit for the RBS UK retail business, has been appointed as interim chief risk officer. With RBS planning to separate Ulster Bank’s operations north and south of the border, a replacement is likely to be appointed for the Republic only.

It it understood Mr Bell has left the RBS group. He is believed to have thrown his hat in the ring to replace Jim Brown as Ulster Bank’s chief executive. This process is still in train, with the bank’s chief financial officer Paul Stanley a leading contender. Mr Brown is leaving for a senior role with RBS in the UK.

Mr Bell’s departure will surprise many given his close involvement in managing Ulster Bank’s mortgage arrears. It is understood Paul Sullivan, who was head of RBS Capital Resolution Ireland, was made head of problem debt management in recent months. This role would encompass mortgage arrears.

Mr Bell joined Ulster Bank in January 2012 from AIB, where he had been chief risk officer for 14 months.