UK Finance, the banking lobby group, has appointed David Postings as its new chief executive to help steer the industry through the Covid-19 crisis.
Postings, who recently stepped down as global chief executive of Bibby Financial Services, will take up the role at the start of next year, UK Finance said. He had previously held senior positions at Barclays and Lloyds.
The appointment comes after Stephen Jones resigned from the trade body in June following a controversy over derogatory remarks he made in 2008 about businesswoman Amanda Staveley.
Staveley arranged billions of pounds of rescue financing for Barclays during the global financial crisis, when Jones worked at the bank.
“I am pleased to be taking on this role at UK Finance at such an important time for the industry,” Postings said.
“The sector’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the vital role that finance must play in supporting consumers and businesses through this difficult economic situation,” he added.
Postings’ appointment comes at a crucial time for Britain’s banking sector as lenders work to keep credit flowing into businesses that have been hit by the pandemic and plan how to enforce the loans without taking reputational damage when repayments are due next year.
Before his departure from the organisation, Jones helped establish the government’s emergency coronavirus lending schemes to provide businesses with state-backed loans.
The most widely-used of these facilities, the bounce back loan scheme, has been dogged by controversy recently amid concerns about fraudulent applications and complaints from small businesses that banks are cutting off access to the loans.
Bob Wrigley, UK Finance executive chair, said Postings would bring “wide and deep experience of our sector and crucially at this time, a real understanding of the vital role our members play in supporting SMEs and consumers across the UK”.
News of Postings’ appointment, which was first reported by Sky News, will disappoint some UK Finance directors who had pushed for a female successor to Jones.
The group had appointed Sapphire Partners, a headhunting firm with a strong track record of producing diverse shortlists for executive roles, to lead the hunt for its new boss.
Women in Business & Finance (WIBF), a networking organisation created to support women in the industry, said it welcomed Postings’ appointment.
“As the collective voice of the banking and finance industry in the UK, we look forward to UK Finance leading by example in diversity and inclusion, helping to ensure this continues to be a key business priority for the industry,” said a WIBF spokeswoman.
“Harassment and bullying has no place in our sector and needs to be tackled at all levels to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to realise their full potential and succeed in the financial services sector,” she added.