THE position of Shaun Doherty, IT and operations director at Tesco Bank, was unclear yesterday amid claims that he had left the company.
Doherty has been a key ally of chief executive Benny Higgins, following him from Standard Life to HBOS and then to Tesco.
A well-placed source told Scotland on Sunday that Doherty had left but a Tesco Bank spokesman refused to offer any guidance.
“We will not comment on market speculation or rumour,” he said, insisting that he could not clarify the status of a director of the company.
Doherty was hired in August 2008 in the week when Tesco reached agreement with partner Royal Bank of Scotland to buy out its share of Tesco Personal Finance.
It was seen as a clear sign of the supermarket group’s intent to become a fully-fledged bank.
Luring Doherty from HBOS was regarded as a significant coup for Tesco as it grappled with building a stand-alone IT system and support functions. HBOS was still enjoying its status as Britain’s biggest mortgage lender but was only weeks away from imploding.
Progress at Tesco has been slower than planned. It announced this month that it was launching mortgages but only after months of delays which Higgins said were due to ensuring the bank was fully prepared.
Mortgage experts, however, were critical of a lack of market-leading deals and an absence of options for first-time buyers.
Tesco Bank has been welcomed as one of the new entrants to the sector but experts say it faces a battle for customers against bigger, established banks which greeted its arrival in the mortgage market by slashing interest rates.
HSBC launched the cheapest five-year mortgage on record, only for RBS to unveil a lower rate.
Barclays, Nationwide and Santander have also cut their best buy deals in recent weeks.
COMMENT: PAGE 18
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West