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Royals hire RBS director as communications chief

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have hired RBS director of corporate affairs Jason Knauf as their head of communications.

Knauf, who starts with Prince William and Princess Kate in January, joined RBS as head of group media relations in April 2010 and has seen the bank fined more than £750m for huge conduct failings.

He was previously senior press officer on the Treasury financial services desk from October 2008 to March 2010, starting during the financial crisis when numerous banks collapsed.

Knauf has also worked for New Zealand prime minister Helen Grant as well as other senior New Zealand politicians.

He has overseen a tumultuous period of press relations at state-owned RBS, which has incurred numerous hefty fines for a wide variety of massive conduct failings.

This week the bank was fined £56m for an IT meltdown last summer that stopped customers accessing bank accounts.

Earlier this month, global regulators slammed the bank with £217m worth of fines for massive failings on its foreign exchange trading desks.

In August, the bank was fined £15m for failings in mortgage advice. In December 2013, it paid £390m to the EU to settle a Libor rigging case after already being hit with £120m worth of global fines in February.

In July 2013, RBS was fined £5.6m for incorrect information submitted to the wholesale market. In January 2011, it was fined £2.8m for poor complaint handling and in August 2010 it was fined £5.6m for failing to control the risk of breaching UK sanctions.

The bank has also set aside billions of pounds to deal with misselling claims from US mortgages, payment protection insurance and interest rate swaps. 

In June 2013, former chief executive Stephen Hester was widely believed to have been forced out by the Treasury after numerous controversies over huge bonus payments.

The bank has also been embroiled in controversies over the Scottish independence referendum and whether it should be broken up by Treasury.


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