New Clydesdale boss: We can challenge big banks

CLYDESDALE Bank’s new chief executive is to join the group next Friday, with a self-stated mission to make it a robust “challenger” to the high street’s lending giants.

David Duffy: Looking forward to his new challenge
David Duffy: Looking forward to his new challenge

The bank said David Duffy, who joins from Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and whose appointment was unveiled last January, had received regulatory approval for his appointment.

He arrives amid parent group National Australia Bank’s (NAB’s) plan to sell Clydesdale and sister business Yorkshire Bank via a London Stock Exchange flotation by the end of 2015.

Duffy, 53, who has been chief executive of AIB since 2011, said he was “delighted” to be joining Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks at “a pivotal point”.

He said he looked forward to leading Clydesdale through this “exciting” new phase. “I passionately believe in our strong future prospects as a standalone bank in the UK market and the journey under way to build a better bank for customers,” he said.

“My key focus will be to further build on the strength of the business and ensure Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks provide a real challenge to the big UK banks as a distinctive customer champion.”

Up to 30 per cent of the business will be sold to institutional investors. The remainder will be held by existing shareholders of NAB, which has owned Clydesdale since 1987 and Yorkshire since 1990.

The UK business, which has some 300 branches, is being divested after being dogged by soured property loans and mis-selling scandals in recent years.

Until recently, the new man was president of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland and a director of the European Banking Federation.

Jim Pettigrew, Clydesdale’s chairman, said Duffy was a “passionate consumer champion” and his decision to join the UK operations was a “vote of confidence in Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, our people and our future opportunities as a strong standalone bank in the UK market”.

Duffy succeeds Clydesdale veteran David Thorburn.