Richard Houghton appointed as business development director

A shake-up at Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance's (RBSI) broking and intermediary section has seen the introduction of a new business development director.

The move could also result in the creation of a separate role to oversee Inter Group, Devitt and Finsure.

Richard Houghton has been appointed to work alongside managing director Charles Crawford, supporting and developing growth within the intermediary and broker business.

A market source said: "The company is talking about getting a director-level person to control the three companies. The idea is to free up time for Crawford to concentrate on NIG, especially the run-off business.

He added: "This does seem to represent a pretty clear demonstration of Royal Bank's commitment to its intermediary business."

An RBSI spokeswoman confirmed Houghton's appointment, but could not confirm reports that the insurer was about to create a second role to manage Inter Group, Devitt and Finsure.

Houghton's previous role was within the RBS group working for Ulster Bank.

Market sources suggest the person tipped to take over the management of Devitt, Inter Group and Finsure could come from the very top.

"The word is that it's one of chief executive Fred Goodwin's ex-PAs," said the source.