Co-operative Bank appoints new chairman

Co-op Bank

The Manchester-based Co-operative Bank, which underwent a £700m recapitalisation in 2017, is to appoint Bob Dench as its new chairman, following the retirement of current incumbent Dennis Holt.

He will join the board on March 14, succeeding Holt, who has held the position since October 2014 and who is stepping down in May.

Bob Dench has enjoyed a long career in banking, and has been chair of Paragon Banking Group since 2007, having joined its board in 2004.

He led Paragon through the financial crisis and oversaw a reconfiguring of the business model as it obtained its banking licence. He will remain in his role at Paragon until a successor has been appointed.

Previously, he served on the boards of AXA UK and Ireland from 2004, as Senior Independent Director of AXA UK until December 2016 and Chair of AXA Ireland from 2007 to 2017. He was also Chair of AXA PPP Healthcare from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, he spent 28 years at Barclays, in a number of senior executive roles across the group in the UK, US and Australia.

Holt said: “The Co-operative Bank has been through challenging times in the past four years as it has worked hard to fix the legacy issues that led to the crisis it faced in late 2013.

“It now has solid foundations and a clear pathway to sustainable profitability and robust capital resilience.”

Chief executive Liam Coleman said: “We look forward to welcoming Bob to The Co-operative Bank as chairman as we move forward following the recapitalisation.

“There is much to do in order to continue to build a sustainable and profitable ethical banking franchise, and his significant Board and industry experience will be invaluable as we take forward our plans.”

Dench said: “I am delighted to be appointed chairman of The Co-operative Bank as it enters the next stage of its development and I look forward to working with Liam and the Board to deliver the strategy.”