Few parents of teens will be unaware of the dangers of social media. One slip, one silly comment or ill-advised post, can leave their child exposed to all sorts of trouble. It seems, however, that this kind of mistake isn’t only restricted to the kids.
No less than the executive chairman of RBS’ investment bank has fallen victim to a Snapchat scandal. The bank announced that Rory Cullinan is leaving in April, after barely a month in the job. Cullinan’s woes began a few weeks ago after it was revealed that he had sent Snapchat messages to his daughter last year, complaining of being bored in meetings.
‘Not a fan of board meetings xx’, one caption read. ‘Boring meeting,’ read another. ‘Another friggin meeting.’
His daughter posted these to Instagram, where they were discovered by The Sun earlier this month. Clearly this didn’t look good, though we should stress that his departure wasn’t necessarily a direct consequence of the leak. The FT reported a source ‘close to RBS’ as saying it was a disagreement over strategy that caused the resignation.
Either way, the whole Snapchat business might seem somewhat unfair. After all, a father is surely entitled to send private correspondence to his daughter, and who really likes meetings anyway? Apart from everyone at MT, of course…(I've been in some terminally dull meetings in my time - Ed.)
The unfortunate lesson may be that any messages you send could end up in the public domain, so no matter who you are it may be smart to watch what you type.
Keeping pace with the FTSE 100, RBS shares fell 0.5% this morning to 345.5p, well below the 455p the government would need if it wanted to break even on its £45bn bailout by selling its 80% stake in the bank. Last month, RBS revealed a seventh straight year of losses, but has been widely praised for its restructuring efforts that seem to finally be restoring it to health.
Cullinan was at the heart of this process, having overseen the sale of Citizens Bank in the US and the shutting down of RBS’ ‘bad bank’ (containing £38bn of risky assets) since late 2013. He was on track to wind down or sell all those assets by the end of this year, one year ahead of schedule, before being promoted to run the ever-shrinking investment division in February. Bored or no, he clearly knew his stuff.