Business

Co-operative Bank appoints Dennis Holt as new chairman

Co-op Bank branch Image copyright Getty Images

The troubled Co-operative Bank has appointed Dennis Holt as its permanent chairman.

Mr Holt joined the board in February and has been acting as interim chairman since 1 October.

Co-op has had a turbulent time over the last year or so following the discovery of a £1.5bn hole in its finances and a drugs scandal involving former chairman Paul Flowers.

The bank had failed in its bid to buy 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group.

"I am delighted that Dennis Holt has been appointed to chair the board of the bank," said chief executive Niall Booker.

"His involvement in a wide range of challenging market environments will serve the bank well as we continue to restore trust in our brand and focus on building a credible, efficient and differentiated alternative for customers."

Public trust

Co-op Bank had to be rescued from its financial troubles by bondholders who agreed to a recapitalisation.

This process saw Co-op Group reduce its ownership of its banking subsidiary to just 20%.

The collapse in public trust in the bank contributed to a loss of 38,000 customers in the first half of 2014.

Last week, the Treasury Committee criticised the bank's auditor KPMG and the financial regulator for failing to spot the bank's financial shortcomings sooner.

It was also damning of the bank's governance, saying it was "not fit for purpose", "entirely inadequate" and "an accident waiting to happen".

Mr Booker will be hoping that Mr Holt's appointment as chairman will help restore confidence in the beleaguered bank.

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