"With his extensive experience in banking and the leadership that he has shown in his time at RBS, Ross will be a great Chief Executive for the Group," said RBS chairman Phillip Hampton in the company's statement.
Hampton added: "Five years on from its rescue, RBS is now a safe and strong bank -- our focus is now on building a really good bank for our customers and shareholders, returning the bank to private ownership, and playing our full part in supporting the U.K. economy."
Current CEO Stephen Hester said: "Ross has an outstanding track record and I congratulate him on being appointed RBS Chief Executive. He is a person of integrity who has been a valued colleague over the past year."
McEwan has been with RBS since September, 2012 as U.K. Retail CEO. His new position will take effect on October 1, 2013.