Co-op Bank hires UKAR chairman Richard Pym

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The Co-operative Bank has appointed UK Asset Resolution chairman Richard Pym as part of efforts to turn around the ailing bank.

UK Asset Resolution was set up to wind down the so-called “bad banks” of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.

Pym, whose 40-year financial services career also includes time as Alliance & Leicester group chief executive, joins the Co-op Bank as independent non-executive chairman with immediate effect, subject to formal regulatory approval. He will continue to act as chairman at UK Asset Resolution.

He replaces Paul Flowers, who is stepping down from the boards of Co-op Bank and the Co-op Banking Group.

The Co-op Group has also appointed Morrisons group finance director Richard Pennycook, who will become the Co-op’s group finance director on 1 July. He will take up the role on 1 July, initially on interim basis.

The Co-op Group chief executive Euan Sutherland says: “I am very pleased that individuals of the calibre of Richard Pennycook and Richard Pym have decided to join The Co-op Group. Both have fantastic track records in British business and the team and I look forward to working closely with both of them.”

Co-op Bank chairman Richard Pym says: “I am delighted to have been invited to chair The Co-op Bank and look forward to working with Niall Booker, the new bank chief executive, as well as the team at the Group.

“We are clearly focused on actions to strengthen the bank’s balance sheet and resolving the current underlying issues. This will allow us to continue to provide customers with an alternative choice to the traditional banks.”

The latest senior hires follow the appointment former HSBC US chief executive Niall Booker as chief executive of the Co-operative Bank last month.

Ratings agency Moody’s drastically cut the Co-op’s credit rating last month. The bank has already sought to plug its capital shortfall through the £219m sale of its life insurance and asset management arms to Royal London, approved by Royal London members yesterday, and by stopping lending to new business customers.