Metro Bank hires building society ‘bad boy’ as chairman
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.