Co-op critic Sir Christopher Kelly joins new board

Sir Christopher Kelly had criticised the company for near death of banking arm. Picture: PA
Sir Christopher Kelly had criticised the company for near death of banking arm. Picture: PA
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THE author of a report which sharply criticised the Co-operative over the near-collapse of its banking arm has been appointed to the group’s board.

Sir Christopher Kelly said the group had badly let down its millions of members by its failure to provide “proper stewardship” to the lender, which was dragged down by its disastrous merger with Britannia building society.

Now the former Treasury mandarin has been named senior non-independent director of the food-to-funerals group, the first external appointment under radical governance reforms drawn up in the wake of the debacle. He will help recruit members for an entirely new, slimmed down board which will be in operation from next May.

Group chair Ursula Lidbetter said: “[His] recent report into the Co-operative Bank was detailed and incisive and was instrumental in helping us move on by learning from the mistakes of the past.

“His deep experience of ­finance, public policy and governance mean that he is ideally suited to the new role of senior independent non-executive ­director.”

The group also named Simon Burke as independent director. He holds a similar role at the BBC and has previously been non-executive director of Co-operative Food.

The Co-op was previously run by elected directors – including a plasterer and retired teacher – but will now largely consist of professional business people.

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