THE Co-operative Bank has been dealt a blow after it lost one of its top executives. James Mack, the bank’s chief financial officer (CFO), will leave the bank only 18 months after he was appointed to the role.
The 41-year-old, who had been working closely on the bank’s project to acquire 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group, will take up another job within the sector. The bank said work has already begun to recruit a CFO and Mack will remain at the bank until a replacement is found.
His departure comes at a critical time for the Manchester-based Co-op. An update on the sale of the branches – known as Project Verde – is expected from Lloyds in March.
The Co-op announced Mack’s departure a day after the Financial Services Authority (FSA) confirmed the bank would have to begin a programme to compensate small business customers that were mis-sold interest rate swaps.
The watchdog said that Co-op, along with Clydesdale and Yorkshire and the former Allied Irish bank, would have to “review” sales of interest rate hedging products after it found that as many as 90 per cent of products sold by the banks did not comply with regulatory requirements.
Co-op bank said in a statement that it was “committed to doing the right thing for the small number of customers that took these products from us”.
It added: “Although we did offer simple products in this area, we did not provide the so-called ‘structured collars’ or more complex products sold by some other banks.”
The FSA demand comes just weeks after the watchdog slapped a £113,300 fine on the Co-op Bank for delaying claims for payment protection insurance compensation.