Co-op Bank welcomes new chief executive

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 9th Jul 2018

Co-op Bank, the only major UK bank to put ethics and the environment at the heart of its policies, has today announced the appointment of Andrew Bester as its new chief executive.

Andrew, most recently group director and chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group commercial division, will begin to take over from Liam Coleman, the bank’s current chief executive, from today. The bank highlighted his experience in leading large-scale transformation.

The Co-op Bank was rescued by US hedge funds last year, after a £1.5 bn black hole in its finances was uncovered in 2013, which left the bank floundering.

Andrew said: “I am excited to be asked to lead The Co-operative 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.”

Bob Dench, Chairman of Co-op Bank 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 as CEO of The Co-operative Bank. I look forward to working with him as we take forward our strategy.”

Andrew is a qualified chartered accountant, whose career began with three years at PwC and subsequently three years at Deloitte, Andrew joined Standard Chartered Bank in 2004, where he held senior leadership roles in wholesale banking in Africa and Asia. In 2008 he took on the role of Chief Financial Officer for Standard Chartered’s Consumer Banking division, and in 2011 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Consumer Banking.

In his most recent role at Lloyds, he led the successful customer-focused turnaround and transformation of the commercial/wholesale banking business over five years from 2012.

Andrew also led on inclusion and diversity for Lloyds Banking Group and has multiple awards for his work, including ‘Advocate of the Year’ at the 2017 Women in Finance Awards.

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