Metro Bank hires build­ing society ‘bad boy’ as chair­man

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Lucy Burton

METRO Bank has hired build­ing society “bad boy” Robert Sharpe, one of the sec­tor’s key fig­ures dur­ing the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, as its chair­man to re­place founder Ver­non Hill.

Mr Sharpe, fa­mous for his lu­cra­tive pay-off at Port­man Build­ing Society and an af­fair with a col­league half his age, was cred­ited with trans­form­ing Bri­tain’s sev­enth largest society West Bromwich af­ter the 2008 crash.

He is chair­man of Bank of Ire­land UK and will join Metro on £350,000 a year in Novem­ber. Sir Michael Sny­der will re­main in­terim chair­man un­til then.

Be­fore the cri­sis Mr Sharpe turned Bournemout­h-based Port­man from the 13th largest society into the third big­gest through ac­qui­si­tions, be­fore it merged with Na­tion­wide in 2007.

He also earned no­to­ri­ety for go­ing to a ri­val lender when he wanted a mort­gage for his £2.4m man­sion in Sur­rey while run­ning West Bromwich.

Metro is in merger talks with peerto-peer lender Rate­set­ter, but its share price re­mains de­pressed, at just 113p com­pared with 500p last year.

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