It's musical chairs in the banking world. First Joy Griffiths announced that she was leaving Lloyds Banking Group from her role responsible for Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland branches to go to be Managing Director of Experian Analytics. (See http://www.itsafinancialworld.net/2011/02/joy-griffiths-leaves-lloyds-banking.html )Then Lloyds Banking Group announces that they have hired Alison Britain from Santander to replace Joy Griffiths (see http://www.itsafinancialworld.net/2011/03/only-beginning-of-changes-at-lloyds.html ). Finally Santander have announced that they have hired Charlotte Hogg from Experian to replace Alison Britain. Financial Services in the UK is a tight knit community.
Santander appears to be the big loser here with the greatest outflow of talent, for above the significant number of defections to Lloyds Banking Group, they have also lost a senior executive to Nationwide and now two further ones to Virgin Money. Mark Selby, former COO of Abbey and responsible for the integration of Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley into Santander, has left to become the COO of Virgin Money and Chris Daniels has left to become Group Property Director for Virgin Money. These are significant moves on the part of Virgin Money as it significantly increases the experience of retail banking operations and specifically branch banking on the executive team. This is an indication of Virgin Money's seriousness about acquiring one of the many retail banking businesses coming onto the market in the UK.
With all the outflow of executives from Santander, some questions must be raised as to the viability of the flotation of Santander UK planned for this autumn.
The music may have stopped for the moment, but it won't be long before it starts again.