Pembroke: Rapid turnover at TSB

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The Independent Online
TSB can't seem to keep its staff at the moment. Only the other week the bank announced a round of redundancies. Now Christopher Smallwood, the group's strategic development director, is also heading for the door. Mr Smallwood, who is leaving of his own accord, is throwing in his lot with Makinson Cowell, an investor relations group founded in 1989 by Bob Cowell and John Makinson, a former FT man, who rejoined the newspaper in March as managing director.

The move marks a new chapter in the career of the 46-year- old Mr Smallwood. A former Treasury man, he has also been economics editor of the Sunday Times and head of financial strategy at BP. He writes a regular economics column for the Sunday Express which he hopes to continue. 'The job I was taken on to do was finished so I was looking for something else,' he says.

JOHN WRIGLESWORTH, the normally garrulous building societies analyst at the brokers UBS, remains curiously tight- lipped over his much-touted new job. Speculation has been raging for days that he is to leave the City to become head of strategy and planning at Bradford & Bingley Building Society. 'Can we just wait till a bit later in the week,' requests the house market guru. 'I know it's been handled badly but, if I am leaving, UBS will be the first to know.'

The B&B is more forthcoming: 'We've offered him the job but the contracts have not been signed so it's not official yet.' Rumour is that the UBS man's leaving party would be held at one of his favourite watering holes, Le Caprice. THE RAIL strikes have claimed another victim. Newcastle Building Society was due to hold a little soiree at the Cafe Royal tonight to celebrate the opening of its newish bank in Gibraltar, but its plans have been forced off the rails by Jimmy Knapp. 'The trains finish early on Tuesday evenings and it would have made travel difficult,' the society explains.

All this has meant a waste of perfectly good sticky rock. To help publicise its Gibraltar connections the building society had sent out sticks of black and white rock to guests. Tucked inside was a label bearing the legend: 'Toon Army Newcastle', the name given to supporters of Newcastle United FC. 'It was the only black rock we could find,' the Newcastle explains.

THE FINAL line-up has been decided for Friday's Inter Bank alternative World Cup. Five-a-side teams from banks including Coutts and Credit Lyonnais will contest the trophy at the Market Sports centre in the City. A close contest is expected but the smart money is on one of the guest sides, a flair team from South America. Step forward the Colombian Tourist Board, which will be hoping to improve on its national team's performance in the real thing.

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