Market Leaders Pick Their Market Leader: Who is the banker who carries most credit?

Derek Wanless

Chief Executive, NatWest Bank

GIVEN THE many changes that are taking place in retail banking, I would nominate my colleague, Tim Jones, who heads NatWest's retail bank. To be successful in financial services management, you need to be creative as well as having sound financial management skills. Tim has both. He led the team that invented Mondex, the electronic cash purse, helped to pioneer Switch, and he is now responsible for the transformation of NatWest's retail bank into one of the most advanced banking systems anywhere in the world.

From an external perspective, I share everyone's admiration for Sir Brian Pitman, of Lloyds TSB. His contribution to the financial services industry over many years including his commitment to achieving ever improving returns to shareholders are obvious for all to see. He has a formidable track record, combining a far-sighted vision for his own organisation with solid banker values.

Mervyn Pedelty

Chief Executive, Co-op Bank

FOR VISION and integrity, I nominate my own predecessor Lord Thomas. His determination to publicise the fact that what retail banks actually do is to look after their customers' own money, and that those same customers deserve to know and have a say in how their money is invested, was courageous and laid the foundations for our ethical stance and success.

For business acumen, quiet influence and achievement, I have long admired an often unsung hero, Richard Delbridge, director and CFO of NatWest Group. Richard's career includes the same roles at HSBC and Midland Bank and as UK head of J P Morgan. I am impressed with NatWest's recent surefootedness in refocusing itself. Richard's steady hand has undoubtedly played its usual key role.

And, no list could be complete without Peter Ellwood, Lloyds TSB's CEO. Peter is an outstanding example of that rare ability to combine strategy formulation with effective implementation.

Peter White

Group Chief Executive, Alliance & Leicester plc

RETAIL BANKING has changed dramatically during the 1990s with a much greater understanding of the need to improve efficiency and customer service while at the same time focusing on increasing shareholder value. On these criteria it is difficult to look beyond Sir Brian Pitman who, as chief executive of Lloyds Bank (now the Lloyds TSB Group), took what was the smallest of the clearing banks to a leading position in the UK market. His decision to concentrate on a largely domestic strategy while other banks made expensive forays into investment banking et al has been fully vindicated.

Another market leader is Peter Birch who took Abbey National to the stock market in 1989 and helped to show that converted building societies have nothing to fear from the commercial marketplace.

Gary Hoffman

Managing Director at Barclays Retail Financial Services

IT WOULD be difficult to talk about personalities in retail banking without mentioning Sir Brian Pitman of Lloyds TSB who has consistently delivered exactly what he's promised. And then there's Martin Taylor who was formerly of Barclays. He brought a completely different style to the running of a traditional bank which was particularly refreshing. He could empathise with the biggest of the institutional shareholders, the smallest of our customers and the people who worked in the bank. He could speak to them all. But really the people I admire most, given that banks are often portrayed as big and bad, are the ones who work on the front line, providing a day-to-day service to the customer. That's what retail banking is really all about.

L P Finn

Chief Executive, Northern Rock plc

SIR BRIAN PITMAN has to top any banking list. He has preached the virtue of shareholder value and he has delivered it. Absolutely clear focus is a key executive skill and Sir Brian is well endowed in this respect.

With the new banks it is impossible not to think of Peter White of Alliance & Leicester. He's an ebullient character, but steely - another mandatory quality.

Looking at softer management qualities one has to congratulate Brian Davis at Nationwide for rescuing mutuality from a premature demise. He's convinced himself that New Mutuality is as significant as New Labour and has gathered many proselytes to his cause. But the value of mutual building societies is reducing at a steady pace, which must give their boards of directors pause for thought.

Andy Dewhurst

Marketing Director, Tesco Personal Finance

I ADMIRE Sir George Mathewson, of the Bank of Scotland, because he is one of those rare bankers who shares our commitment to customers and thus was quick to spot the potential of supermarket banking. Supermarkets have been able to invade the banks' territory so successfully because so many bankers treat customers as an afterthought. I am impressed by George's vision in developing non-banking activities. He has encouraged Direct Line to change the face of general insurance by offering convenience, value and high-quality service. He has shown similar vision in developing telephone banking and now in providing what I think is Britain's best Internet banking site.

Frank Sullivan

General Manager, Allied Irish Bank (GB)

I WOULD like to nominate Peter Ellwood, Group Chief Executive at Lloyds TSB. His company's recent performance is evidence that he and his team have found a successful formula. Through an acquisition strategy and a "no nonsense, value for money" approach, they have recorded an excellent performance. Integrating new businesses, like C&G, is one thing. What is even more impressive is that Peter and his colleagues have managed to add value in doing so. Too often, the result of a merger or acquisition is a blurred, compromised approach. In the Lloyds TSB case, they have come up with an even stronger customer proposition. The new bank focuses on a small number of products, cutting down potential for customer confusion and red tape, placing a high value on customer service. The bank's strategy appears clear and simple. Ellwood has managed to simplify a mature organisation effectively.

Ian Harley

Chief Executive, Abbey National

OBVIOUSLY, I am enormously impressed with my own team. But if I had to pick one person who stands out in retail banking, it would be Bill Doulton from Midland. He's something of an outsider in our industry really - he's a Canadian. He's fairly new and has very refreshing ideas. He is willing to challenge established views in banking. He has tried to inject our banking establishment with something of the interesting things that they are doing over in Canada. He is full of energy and enthusiasm and resilience. He is a tough chap but has humility.

John Clifford

Chief Executive, Allied Irish Bank

THERE ARE two banks which we find it difficult to win business from - the Bank of Scotland and Lloyds; for this reason, I have great respect and admiration for both. In the Bank of Scotland's case, Sir Bruce Patullo overcame the disadvantage of having little or no presence in England in the early 1980s by successfully developing alternative channels - electronic and partnerships - which have allowed it to reach large numbers of customers without the need for branches.

However, my vote for the most influential leader in our industry must go to Sir Brian Pitman who has transformed Lloyds bank from "one of the pack" in UK banking to a high-performing business that is admired internationally. He has been the UK's leading proponent of shareholder value even before it was popular or well understood, and his relentless pursuit of value, and the clarity and simplicity with which he communicates it sets him apart. He has shown great courage and self-belief in resisting the temptation to follow the herd in expanding internationally or into investment banking - both directions have proved very costly for his erstwhile larger competitors. He has equally demonstrated vision and consistency in pursuing his value- based strategy through astute acquisitions and through divestment of non- core businesses at home and abroad. The measure of his success in translating philosophy into reality is best illustrated by his outstanding record of doubling shareholder value every three years for the past 15 years.

Ray Entwhistle

Chief Executive, Adam and Co plc

I AM a great admirer of Sir Brian Pitman and the dynamic force he has shown as a banker along with Jeremy Morse, former Chairman of Barclays, and Sir George Mathewson, of the Bank of Scotland. In the 1970s and 1980s Sir Brian was probably one of the most powerful men in banking, and going back 20 years I remember meeting him at a dinner party. I found it intriguing that a man of his status was prepared to listen to someone of my somewhat lower status. Without a doubt he was the forerunner of the transformation of the banking industry. He was totally focused on shareholder value. Interestingly he was ruthless in getting rid of the over-50s from the business because they were too highly paid, in his opinion, and he was the first to recognise this. I find what he's done slightly heart-rending; he has removed the traditional professional banker and has replaced him or her with a highly trained sales force - but he has been enormously successful. He has done what he was paid to do.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little