'Psychometric tests' landed Co-op Bank job for Paul Flowers

 

The Co-operative Bank's disgraced former chairman, Paul Flowers, apparently won the job because he beat his rivals' psychometric test scores, MPs on the Treasury Committee have been told.

The Methodist minister left the Co-op at the centre of a storm after being filmed allegedly buying drugs.

Asked by MPs if he knew why Mr Flowers had beaten him to the job, Rodney Baker-Bates, a banker of many years standing, said: “I was told afterwards he did very well on the psychometric tests.”

Mr Baker-Bates was made deputy chairman along with former Prudential executive David Davies to support Mr Flowers, who had almost no banking experience.

Both men were fiercely opposed to the disastrous attempt to merge with Lloyds' 600-branch strong Verde business and resigned as a result.

Mr Baker-Bates said he believed Co-op would have remained in its current form had he got the job. Regulators' discovery of a huge black hole in its finances forced a rescue that resulted in the bank falling to hedge funds that owned its debt.

He said his own interview for the job didn't even cover banking: “My interview focused on my knowledge of the Co-operative Group and Movement. I don't remember much discussion of my banking experienced. No references were asked for. There was an announcement the following day.”

Mr Davies said: “I have to say the psychometric testing did surprise me. Paul was a clear winner. When I looked at the scores I was concerned about a couple.”

Andrew Tyrie, the committee's chairman, said after the hearing: “The Co-op Group board was the driving force behind the Verde negotiations, not the Co-op Bank.

“The two deputy-chairmen of the Co-op Bank, appointed to guide a chairman with little knowledge of finance, resigned because of their opposition to Verde. Instead of ignoring their advice, alarm bells should have sounded on the main Co-op Group board.”

Philip Corr, a psychology professor at City University in London, said “Psychometric testing can be very effective when used as part of a wider set of selection tools, including assessment of specific professional competencies.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue