Welcome to the eighth, bi-annual Ridgeway Partners UK Bank Boards Analysis, as of July 2019. We list all nonexecutive and executive board members, including their board roles, business backgrounds, nationality, gender and tenure. We have also included selected analytics on the 355 directors across the 34 banks.

We have divided the sector into the following groups:

  • Table 1a Largest UK Bank/Mutual Boards
  • Table 1b Ring-Fenced and Non-Ring-Fenced UK Bank Boards
  • Table 2 Mid-sized Listed UK Bank Boards
  • Table 3 Subsidiary/Private Equity/Hedge Fund backed UK Bank Boards
  • Table 4 Larger UK Building Societies and Leading Irish Bank Boards
  • Table 5 ‘Neobank’/Fintech UK Bank Boards

Headlines over the last six months

  • Despite the ring fenced boards now being established, and fewer new bank approvals in 2019, the demand for financial services board talent has continued to be strong.
  • Demand is particularly strong for Audit, Risk and Remuneration Committee chairs.
  • Several boards are also seeking to add profiles with operational/transformation/relisience/technology expertise. More former CIOs/CTOs and COO’s are joining boards given the increasing significance of their experience.
  • The updated Code recommending that chairs rotate off after nine years, including the time they have been a non executive director, is encouraging succession planning in a number of cases.
  • In addition to conventional searches, several boards are increasingly undertaking benchmarking and talent pipeline projects, in particular for SMR chair roles.
  • Boards continue to respond to greater regulatory and investor demands by creating sub committees focussed on the customer, conduct and culture, and technology. Boards are also appointing employee representatives as encouraged by the governance Code.
  • The demand for enhancing the diversity of boards, across all measures, continues to be a priority, with gender diversity still the focus, followed by BAME profiles. This is also a major factor in considering executive director succession.
  • The market is increasingly aware of portfolio capacity and “overboarding” for chairs as well as committee chairs. This, combined with greater time commitments and regulatory scrutiny, is creating pressure on the pipeline of candidates as qualified directors are constrained in what else they can do.
  • There is an emerging trend towards the anticipated tenure on boards being nearer to six years than nine years. This is seen to enhance independence and ensures new perspectives joining the boards. This also reflects a trend of non executive directors approaching their portfolio careers as a genuine second career, and moving between boards perhaps more regularly than before.
  • Boards are still seeking core banking skill-sets and suitability for their regulated contexts, but are increasingly keen to attract those with a “next generation financial services” or digital/fintech mindset and expertise.

Company highlights

  • CYBG and Virgin Money have confirmed their merger. They have announced their intent to rebrand the new entity Virgin Money in 2020.
  • One Savings Bank and Charter Court Financial Services have agreed their merger, and there will be a number of board changes in due course.
  • There is significant growth in the digital/mobile banking sector. A number of the “neobanks” (Starling, Tandem, Zopa, Monzo and Revolut) continue their growth and board development

 

CHAIRS

  • 2019 has seen new chairs at Barclays PLC (Nigel Higgins) and Monzo (Gary Hoffman).
  • It has been announced that Sir Malcolm Williamson will chair the combined One Savings Bank and Charter Court business, with David Weymouth becoming Deputy Chair.
  • A search is underway for a new chair at Metro Bank.
  • There are four female chairs out of all 49 bank entities listed in this report.
  • The typical (median) chair has been on their board for approximately 4 years. Only two chairs have been in place for at least nine years; threenfor eight years.

 

NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

  • During this first half of the year, there have been new non executive directors appointed at HSBC, Santander, Standard Chartered, NatWest Markets, OneSavings Bank, Co-operative Bank, Coventry Building Society, Leeds Building Society, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Atom, and Zopa.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

  • The first half of 2019 has seen new Chief Executive Officers starting at Barclays Bank UK (Matt Hammerstein), TSB (Debbie Crosbie), Bank of Ireland (Ian McLaughlin), Leeds Building Society (Richard Fearon) and AIB (Colin Hunt). Jim Brown has been announced as the new Chief Executive Officer at Sainsbury’s Bank.
  • The search for a new chief executive officer of Royal Bank of Scotland is under way.
  • New Chief Financial Officers have started at Barclays Bank UK (Acting Chief Financial Officer, Rupert Fowden), Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets (Chris Edis), and AIB (Donal Galvin)
  • Rick Hunkin has joined the Board of Chetwood as Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer.