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RBS shares drop following CEO departure

LONDON Royal Bank of Scotland's share price fell amid uncertainty about the future following the announcement that chief executive Stephen Hester was leaving by year's end.

Shares in the bank bailed out by the British taxpayer dropped 3.3 percent Thursday to close at 315 pence. At one point, the stock was as low as 299 pence.

The volatile day came as the bank said it would trim 2,000 jobs through 2014 as part of changes in its markets business.

Nic Clarke, a banking analyst at Charles Stanley, says Hester's departure was a "damaging development."

It comes amid speculation that the government wanted a new leader to usher in the bank's return to the private sector. Clark says Hester's departure smashes any lingering pretense that RBS is being run at "arm's length."

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