Co-op Bank finance boss to leave after year in job

Manchester-based Co-operative Bank plc said on Friday that Tom Wood, its chief financial and restructuring officer, “has decided to step down from his position following significant progress made with the restructuring of the bank over the past 12 months.”

Wood will remain in his post until a successor is appointed.

Wood’s departure is just the latest in a long line of executive changes at the self-styled “ethical bank” as it continues to recover from a number of scandals in recent years that resulted in a rescue by a group of hedge funds.

Last month, Co-operative Bank announced the appointment of former Lloyds Banking Group executive Andrew Bester as its new chief executive officer.

Co-operative Bank said in June that former CEO Liam Coleman decided to step down from his position after less than 18 months during which he oversaw its rescue and recapitalisation.

Analysts speculated that the bank’s leadership will now concentrate on improving efficiency and returning the bank to profit in advance of a potential future sale.

Wood joined Co-operative Bank in September 2017, having advised on its recapitalisation in the Spring of 2017.

Wood said: “It has been a privilege to lead the restructuring of The Co-operative Bank.

“The hard work of many colleagues has helped us achieve some key milestones ahead of schedule, in particular towards derisking the balance sheet, reducing our pension liabilities and improving the capital position.

“Our progress to lower costs and improved efficiency has laid important foundations for the bank as it builds for the future.”

Co-operative Bank CEO Andrew Bester said: “Tom’s drive and commitment has helped to materially transform the position of the bank over the past twelve months and we thank him for his significant contribution in delivering a number of complex restructuring milestones.

“The bank is now in a stronger position and I understand Tom’s desire to take on a new challenge. We wish him every success for the future.

“There is still much to be done as we seek to return to a position of sustainable profitability, rebuilding the ethical bank we know is valued by our customers.”

In June 2017, Co-operative Bank agreed a complex £700 million rescue package with its major investors to shore up its capital base.

The deal saw the Co-op Bank’s investors swapping their bondholdings for cash and shares.

The hedge funds invested in Co-op Bank included Cyrus Capital Partners, GoldenTree Asset Management, BlueMountain Capital and Silver Point Capital.