The City regulator is leaning on Britain's newest high street bank to strengthen its boardroom line-up following a tussle over the appointment of its billionaire co-founder as its next chairman.I understand that Metro Bank plans to reshuffle its line-up of directors to assuage concerns expressed by Financial Services Authority (FSA) officials about the elevation of Vernon Hill to become its chairman, which was announced on new year's day.
Insiders say that Ben Gunn, an existing non-executive director of Metro Bank and a City veteran who has run Friends Provident, the life and pensions group, is likely to become the lender's new vice-chairman.
Lord Flight, the senior independent director at the fledgling bank, will relinquish that title but remain on the board as a non-executive director, according to people familiar with the plans being discussed by directors. The proposals are still subject to change, insiders said.
FSA staff are understood to have told Metro Bank that they wanted a more established banking and financial services figure, such as Mr Gunn, to occupy a more senior role on the board.
Friday, 4 January 2013
Regulatory turn - more evidence
Mark Kleinman seems to get quite a few stories like this. The big point to me is that this kind of thing is now going on all the time. It's an interesting to note that the Stewardship Code was developed specifically in response to the failure of shareholders to engage effectively with the banks, yet it's precisely in the banking sector where shareholder primacy is being squeezed out by more active regulatory intervention.