INFLUENTIAL peer and former MP John McFall has quit his role as a director of Atom Bank after just six months in the job.
He is moving to become deputy chairman of the new Banking Standards Board (BSB), which would create a conflict of interest if he remained in his non-executive role at the challenger bank.
“Regrettably for us, he cannot participate on the board of a bank and fulfil the responsibilities of this role which he views as the logical culmination of his work to improve banking standards during a distinguished parliamentary career,” Atom’s chief executive Mark Mullen told City A.M. yesterday.
“His replacement on the Atom board will be announced shortly.”
The BSB hopes to agree common standards between banks, improving the integrity of bankers and in time improving the treatment of customers and reducing the number of scandals.
McFall will be joined by a range of high profile figures, from BSB chair Dame Colette Bowe to Citizens Advice Bureau chief executive Gillian Guy and former union boss Brendan Barber. A group of lenders will also work with the board, made up of representatives from Citi, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Metro Bank, as well as Nationwide.
Lord McFall came to prominence when he was a Labour MP, first as a minister and then as chairman of the Treasury Select Committee.
Since becoming a peer, he has also served on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.
McFall’s position at Atom helped to give the lender a boost as it applied for its licence because any new bank has to show the authorities that it has a competent and experienced senior management team in place to run the institution properly.
The challenger was founded by former Metro Bank boss Anthony Thomson and ex-First Direct chief Mullen.
The board still includes names such as ex-Bank of England official Patricia Jackson and economist Bridget Rosewell.
The Durham-based bank hopes to gain its licence later this year, and launch a predominantly online and mobile app-based service as a modern competitor to traditional lenders.