Co-op Bank appoints new chief executive

'The Bank has been through a period of great change and I look forward to working with the teams to return the business to its former strength'

The Co-operative Bank has appointed Andrew Bester as its chief executive, replacing Liam Coleman who is stepping down from the role.

Mr Bester joins from Lloyds Banking Group, where he was group director and chief executive of the commercial banking group. Since 2012, he is credited with leading a customer-focused turnaround at Lloyds and for his work on inclusion and diversity, which saw him named Advocate of the Year at the 2017 Women in Finance Awards.

Prior to Lloyds, he worked at PwC, Deloitte and Standard Chartered Bank, where he held senior leadership roles in wholesale banking in Africa and Asia, before rising to the role of chief operating officer for consumer banking in 2011.

He joined the Co-op Bank on Monday and a handover process will see him take over from Mr Coleman, who is leaving after a year and half in the role. Mr Bester will be the Bank’s fifth chief executive in seven years.

Chairman Bob Dench said: “I am delighted that we are appointing Andrew as CEO. He is a first class business leader with the experience, drive and intellect required to lead the organisation forward at a key point in its turnaround journey.

“Five years ago, the bank faced very significant problems and over that time we have made progress towards successfully tackling those issues.

“In Andrew we have found the right person to take us on to the next stage as we focus on achieving a sustainable profitable bank.

“Andrew’s understanding of the role business plays in the community and its potential to make a positive difference, and his achievements in leading inclusion and diversity, also make him an ideal choice.”

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Mr Bester said: “I am excited to be asked to lead the Co-op Bank at this important time.

“The Bank is a well- respected brand, with a long and rich history. It is much valued by its customers and colleagues, and continues to lead the way with its commitment to ethical, environmental and community matters.

“Over its recent history, the Bank has been through a period of great change and uncertainty and I look forward to working with the teams to return the business to its former strength.”

Following its financial crisis in 2013, the Bank was bailed out by hedge funds and its former owner the Co-op Group no longer holds a stake. But it has been allowed to retain its name after agreeing with the movement’s apex body Co-operatives UK a way forward that sees it support the co-op movement and reflect its ethical values.

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