Aldermore, one of a bevy of new banking groups in Britain, yesterday signalled its intent by appointing former Emap group managing director Sir David Arculus as its new chairman.
Sir David, who is now a serial non-executive director and occasional Government adviser, is the current chairman of Numis, the stockbroker, and also holds positions on the boards of companies such as Pearson, the media group, and telecoms company Telefónica.
He was chairman of the Government's Better Regulation Task Force from 2002 to 2006 and has also advised the Conservative-led Coalition on regulatory policy.
Aldermore has sought to carve a niche for itself as a small business specialist, in contrast to the other new banks which have largely positioned themselves as retail operations, attempting to take on the big four banks in Britain's over-concentrated retail banking sector.
Aldermore also yesterday said it was hiring John Baines, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland's wealth management division as its new finance director.
Backed by AnaCap Financial Partners and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Aldermore said it advanced £300m to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its first year.
Sir David said: "The banking sector in the UK is going through a tough time. Aldermore is a new and fresh face with a great opportunity to provide UK SMEs, savers and homeowners with the reliability and service they desperately need and deserve. I'm very impressed with the progress that Aldermore has made so far."