Musical chairs at the Zombies?
Now then, don't be rude. But yes it's true, Lloyds Banking Group (43 per cent state-owned) has poached Nathan Bostock from Royal Bank of Scotland (83 per cent state-owned), where he is responsible for dealing with the company's multibillion-pound mountain of toxic assets. His job was once described as "the toughest in banking". That's not far from the truth.
So, an easier life, more time on his Kent farm?
Don't bank on it. Mr Bostock will replace Truett Tate as head of wholesale banking at Lloyds, which leaves him with the responsibility for all the nasties built up by Bank of Scotland's corporate banking division while under Peter Cummings. He will also have to deal with the troubled Irish and Australian businesses and the disposal of anything deemed non-core by chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio. It's a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Don't worry. Mr Bostock won't get his fingers burned. The Scottish chartered accountant, who started his career at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) is the son of an academic applied mathematician specialising in game theory. And he's worked with RBS boss Stephen Hester and Mr Osorio before.
How was that?
Mr Hester appointed him to clear up the mess at RBS, having worked with him at Abbey National, where the two men had to deal with another foul-up. He later worked with Mr Osorio at Santander UK (which now owns Abbey).
And the point of the move?
Mr Bostock is described as tough and competent. A man who gets things done. He's also very ambitious, and had a problem at RBS: once the mess was cleaned up, what then? RBS is run by a team of relatively young, recently appointed executives, while chief executive Stephen Hester has no plans to jump ship anytime soon. With Mr Horta-Osorio busily shaking up the Lloyds team (and getting rid of many of the people hired by his predecessor, Eric Daniels) there are a lot more opportunities there.