After a damaging episode last summer over the "de-banking" affair involving broadcaster and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the bank hopes to move on under a new CEO, replacing an interim chief in post after Peter Flavel resigned in July.
NatWest said Crystal will join in the summer of this year.
Crystal will be succeeding Mohammed Syed, who has been
acting as interim CEO of Wealth. Peter Flavel resigned
last July, along with NatWest’s group CEO, Alison Rose,
following the “de-banking” saga that rocked the reputation of
NatWest and Coutts – an episode
which prompted politicians to raise alarms about the
treatment of clients whose views are deemed to be
controversial. It also shed light on how banks segment
clients and treat politically exposed persons and figures in
the public eye.
Crystal started out in investment banking in 2003 (according to her Linkedin profile) – working at Deutsche Bank – and gained wealth management experience at Credit Suisse, serving in roles including leadership of its Northern and West European wealth arms. At present, she is lead, sustainable finance group, at UBS.
In her role, Crystal will report to Paul Thwaite CEO NatWest and be a member of the executive committee of NatWest Holdings. She also will sit on the Coutts board in her capacity as Coutts CEO.
(Editor’s comment: Crystal has a big task to bring the Coutts brand back to where it needs to be after a saga that must have affected its image. Coutts, along with its parent, is due to report full-year 2023 results on 16 February; we will have a chance to see whether the affair hit inflows. Coutts has a superb brand and, to be fair, Crystal’s predecessor did a lot to simplify its offerings and drive results. Experience at European banks, including a spell in the sustainable finance area at UBS, are an interesting mix. She is relatively new to banking – starting 11 years ago.)