An accomplished banker with an unfortunate Snapchat habit is calling it quits at RBS

Stepping down.
Stepping down.
Image: RBS
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When RBS had problems, it looked to Rory Cullinan for solutions. Until recently he was in charge of the bailed-out British bank’s ”non-core” division, which housed more than £250 billion ($371 billion) in toxic assets marked for disposal in 2009. That pile of unwanted assets is now down to a fraction of its former size; Cullinan’s “bad bank” unit even managed to eke out a quarterly profit from time to time.

Cullinan’s success at cutting out the rot led to a generous pay package and a promotion last month to head of the group’s wayward investment bank, yet another big restructuring job. But only a few weeks into this new, high-profile role, a terse statement came from RBS saying Cullinan would leave the bank next month. The rumor is that he clashed with boss Ross McEwan over how to go about shrinking the investment bank.

But what is also invariably mentioned is that Cullinan made national headlines last month when some embarrassing Snapchat messages made their way to The Sun tabloid newspaper. Sent to his daughter, the selfies were overlayed with messages like “Boring meeting xx“, “Not a fan of board meetings xx“, and the like. It was not a good look for a well-paid executive at a bank majority owned by taxpayers. Whatever the reason behind his departure from the bank, and despite his long and distinguished track record, the “bored banker” Snapchat fiasco will haunt him for some time to come.

As Management Today points out, “a father is surely entitled to send private correspondence to his daughter, and who really likes meetings anyway?” The episode will serve as another reminder that what is shared privately on social media has a nasty habit of surfacing publicly, even on platforms that feature disappearing messages. The snaps came to the tabloids’ attention when Cullinan’s daughter took screenshots and put them on Instagram with the message, “Happy Father’s Day to the indisputable king of snapchat.”