Northern Rock boss Gary Hoffman steps down

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The Independent Online

Nationalised bank Northern Rock today confirmed Gary Hoffman has stepped down as chief executive with immediate effect.









Mr Hoffman, who has run the bank since 2008, will be on garden leave until next April when he will join NBNK Investments, a new banking start-up led by Lloyds of London chairman Lord Levene.



Ron Sandler, who led the failed lender in the months after its multi-billion state bailout, will take up the position of executive chairman in the interim.



Mr Hoffman's departure is the latest high-profile move in the banking sector, which has seen changes at the top of Barclays, HSBC and most recently Lloyds.









Mr Hoffman has been credited with beginning a turnaround at Northern Rock, leading to the removal of the government deposit guarantee implemented in the immediate aftermath of a run on the bank.



He has also led the separation of Northern Rock into a so-called "good bank" consisting of the company's continuing operations and a "bad bank", made up of Northern Rock Asset Management - the home of toxic assets that will be run down over several years.



Following his departure, Mr Hoffman said: "We have achieved a great deal together at Northern Rock in the last couple of years in the best interests of taxpayers. I have enjoyed my time with Northern Rock immensely. However, it is now time for me to take on a new challenge."



It has been speculated that Mr Hoffman may lead a bid for Northern Rock in his new role - however that is unlikely to happen after the bank confirmed NBNK has agreed not to make any moves on the bank until November 1 next year.



It has been reported that UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages Northern Rock on behalf of the taxpayer, may put it up for sale within a matter of months.



NBNK is targeting a "significant share" of the UK retail banking market by offering a traditional branch banking service to retail, small business and corporate customers in the UK, alongside a web-based service.

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