SBS make Mark Thomson new chief exec

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Scottish Building Society (SBS) has appointed chief operating officer Mark Thomson as its new chief executive.

Thomson joined the Edinburgh-based lender – Scotland’s oldest mutual society – last year from Scottish Widows Bank, where he was credit director. He succeeds Gerry Kay, who stepped down last month after five years as chief executive.

SBS chair Alexa Henderson said Thomson, a chartered banker, will “steer the society confidently and responsibly for the benefit of its members”.

The lender has 67 offices and agencies across Scotland and has assets of £388 million. That compares with more than £196 billion at Nationwide, the UK’s largest mutual, which rescued the Dunfermline Building Society following its collapse in 2009. Nationwide is to phase out the Dunfermline brand after unveiling plans to close half of the Fife-based institution’s branches.

Thomson has 30 years’ experience in the finance sector and spent the early part of his career at Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland.

He said it was an “enormous privilege” to take the helm at SBS, adding: “I answer to 37,000 members and a dynamic board of directors and I aim to build on the good work of recent years, which has seen growth in assets and in mortgage business.”

SBS was founded in 1848 as the Edinburgh Property Investment Company. In February, the society completed its merger with Edinburgh-based Century Building Society, Scotland’s smallest mutual, which said regulatory burdens and increased competition had made it impossible to continue as a standalone firm.