Royal Bank of Scotland said today that chief executive Ross McEwan has resigned after steering it to a "stronger" financial position over the last five years.

"RBS announces that Ross McEwan has resigned from his role as chief executive officer and executive director," a statement from the Edinburgh-based giant said.

The bank, which owns Ulster Bank here, was saved at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis by the UK government. 

Mr McEwan has a year's notice period and will stay in post until a successor has been appointed, with his leaving date to be confirmed in due course.

The news comes ahead of the lender's annual general meeting being held in Edinburgh later today. 

"After over five-and-a-half very rewarding years, and with the bank in a much stronger financial position, it is time for me to step down as CEO," Mr McEwan said. 

"It is never easy to leave somewhere like RBS," he said. 

"However with much of the restructuring done and the bank on a strong and profitable footing, I have delivered the strategy that I set out in 2013 and now feels like the right time for me to step aside and for a new CEO to lead the bank," he added.