Mr Pedelty is a partner with LEK Partnership, a firm of corporate strategy consultants, where he specialises in financial services. Previously, he was a senior executive with TSB Group. He said he was looking forward to continuing Mr Thomas' work developing the Co-op Bank's ethical stance.
He said he was also hoping to improve the links between the bank and the Co-op's retail chain. Mr Pedelty said: "I've admired the Co-op Bank enormously from afar over the years. They have developed a distinctive and profitable market position and I'm hoping to develop that."
He said he would be looking at introducing more banking operations in the retail outlets to capitalise more on the links. "The traditional barriers are breaking down and I am very interested in what the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Safeway have been doing," he said.
Mr Thomas developed the bank's ethical stance under which it does not invest in tobacco companies, oppressive regimes or companies that test cosmetics on animals.
Mr Thomas has been chief executive since 1988. He joined the bank in 1973 as its first marketing manager. Mr Thomas was one of the most vociferous Co-op executives during Andrew Regan's abortive pounds 1.2bn break-up bid for the Co-operative Wholesale Society, which owns the Co-op Bank. At the height of the battle he launched a passionate attack on Mr Regan, saying the efforts of generations should not be plundered for profit.