FORMER Co-op bank boss Neville Richardson resigned from two high profile non-executive board roles last night amid a storm of controversy over his role in the bank’s debt downgrade.
Richardson, who was boss of Britannia Building Society until its 2009 merger with the Co-op, quit the boards of M&S Bank and estate agent Countrywide following criticism by an MP over the effects of the merger. The Co-op bank has been hit by debt downgrades after problems related to property loans said to stem from the Britannia loan book.
Richardson said: “Following the ill-informed and inaccurate commentary in the media concerning myself and my departure from the Co-operative Bank and the acquisition of Britannia Building Society by the Co-operative Group, this was the right thing to do.”
It follows concerns raised in the The Times newspaper by an influential member of the Treasury Select Committee, Conservative MP Brooks Newmark.
Newmark, a former partner at private equity giant Apollo, said an institution would be “mad” to appoint Richardson and labelled him “culpable” for the problems at the Co-op.
“I will welcome the opportunity to co-operate fully with any official inquiry there may be into the transaction,” Richardson added.