Speculation mounts that highly rated former RSA boss is being lined up to head Direct Line Group

Andy Haste RSA RBS insurande

Ex-RSA chief executive Andy Haste is being lined up for a sensational return to insurance as chairman of Direct Line Group, sources have told Insurance Times.

Landing Haste would be a huge coup for Direct Line Group, as Haste is highly rated in the City and he would lend credibility to Direct Line Group’s flotation later this year.

Haste is credited as the man who turned around a loss-making RSA into a favourite with shareholders in the City. Haste left RSA at the end of last year, paving way for Simon Lee to take over.

Direct Line Group chief executive Paul Geddes is widely credited as having done a good job in turning around the fortunes of the bank-owned insurer. This week it posted a £454m profit for 2011.

However, Haste would lend crucial experience in helping Direct Line Group allign itself with investors prior to the flotation. An RBS Group spokesman declined to comment.