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By Gavin Finch
March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest government-owned bank, named Mike Biggs chairman of its Direct Line Insurance Group Plc unit.
Biggs will keep his role as chairman of Resolution Ltd., the insurance buyout firm, RBS said in a statement today. Andrew Palmer, who has been serving as interim chairman of Direct Line, will remain on the board, alongside Jane Hanson, as an independent non-executive director.
RBS is being forced to divest the insurance unit, which also includes Churchill and Green Flag, in the second half of this year to comply with a European Union ruling after receiving 45.5 billion pounds ($72.2 billion) in a taxpayer-funded bailout. RBS Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester said last month that an initial public offering in the second half of 2012 was the most likely route for a disposal.
“The successful divestment of Direct Line is one of our priorities and we have confidence that Mike will help us get this done,” Hester said in the statement. “The business has been doing well and is increasingly ready to flourish as an independent company.”