Ross McEwan, the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has announced his decision to step down from his post after more than five-and-a-half years.

Mr McEwan, who took over in 2013, said he has "delivered the strategy" he set out when taking the job.

He said: "It is never easy to leave somewhere like RBS. 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 chief executive to lead the bank."

He was appointed chief executive when RBS was making a loss with businesses in over 30 countries around the world. The bank, which is still majority-owned by the taxpayer, reported a profit of £1.62 billion last year, more than double the previous year.

A key focus of Ross McEwan's strategy was to reduce the size of the business and to cut costs. Now, it has businesses in just 12 of the initial 30 countries and has closed branches across its RBS and NatWest brands. The bank also embarked on a rigorous reduction of staff numbers. In 2014, it had nearly 110,000 employees, but just four years later that figure fell to just over 67,000.