Samuel immediately joins the board of TSB, which was re-launched in September as a standalone banking brand by parent group Lloyds. Taxpayer-backed Lloyds is offloading 631 TSB branches to meet European rules on state aid.
Samuel’s career in finance spans nearly 40 years and includes senior roles at Schroders, Citigroup Europe and the Edinburgh Investment Trust. He is also an adviser to the Prudential Regulation Authority.
He joins chief executive Paul Pester at the helm of TSB. Lloyds chairman Win Bischoff described Samuel as “a great appointment”.
“Will brings a wealth of experience to the role and is well-regarded by the market and across the financial services industry,” Bischoff said. “He is a key hire and will be instrumental in building TSB’s independent future as a challenger to the other high street banks.”
Confirmation of his appointment came just a day after Lloyds hailed a return to “normal” with a pre-tax profit of £415 million for 2013.
Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio confirmed that executives are well-prepared for the flotation, and are “ready to do whatever the government wants to do” on the sale. However, the group is unlikely to make any money from the disposal, as separating the businesses has already run up costs of £1.6bn.
Lloyds is 33 per cent owned by the government as a result of its £20.5bn taxpayer bail-out during the height of the financial crisis. TSB is a name which has been absent from the high street for 18 years.
The branches were originally due to be sold to the Co-operative Group, but that deal fell apart last April after a £1.5bn black hole was uncovered in the Co-op’s finances. Plans were then put together for a flotation, though there was interest from other banks and financial buyers.
Samuel began his career as a chartered accountant in 1976 before joining Schroders Investment Management a year later. He was head of the group’s investment banking division when it was sold to Citigroup’s Salomon Smith Barney in 2000.
After the acquisition, he became joint chief executive of the re-named Schroder Salomon Smith Barney, and later served as vice-chair of European investment at Citigroup.
He is currently a senior adviser at both Lazard and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, and is chairman of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group and Howden Joinery.
He served on the board of Edinburgh Investment Trust from September 2003 to December 2012.
TSB is the UK’s eighth-largest retail bank with more than 4.6 million customers and 8,000 employees.
The company launched its first national television advertising campaign earlier this week, which focuses upon the fact that all of its money remains within the UK.
“I am delighted to be appointed as chairman of TSB,” Samuel said yesterday. “The bank has an exciting future ahead as we move to independence and establish ourselves as the home of local banking.”