METRO Bank yesterday appointed its billionaire co-founder as its new chairman, almost three years after he was first mooted for the job.
The firm, which launched in 2010 as the first new high street lender for more than a century, said Vernon Hill will take up his new post immediately.
Hill, who was vice chairman, replaces co-founder Anthony Thomson after his shock resignation in September.
The bank is believed to have spoken to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on numerous occasions about the appointment. Hill gained FSA approval for his vice chairman role in 2010, but did not take the chairmanship at the time amid concerns from the regulator.
Hill was caught up in a 2007 investigation into Commerce Bank, which he founded. The firm was examined by the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currencies over alleged links between other businesses owned by Hill. He was cleared and Commerce Bank was sold in 2008.
Metro Bank declined to comment on this yesterday. The bank hopes to float in 2014 as it expands beyond London.
“Vernon was the natural choice as chairman to lead Metro Bank’s exciting growth plans,” said chief exec Craig Donaldson.