TSB demands female candidates
TROUBLED TSB has demanded at least half the candidates shortlisted to replace former chief executive Paul Pester are women as the banking industry fights to hire more senior female talent.
Sources told The Sunday Telegraph that the embattled lender, which is trying to move on from a disastrous IT meltdown earlier in the year, has briefed City headhunter Odgers Berndtson on its aim for an equal gender split. The bank already requests gender-balanced shortlists elsewhere in the company.
External candidates widely tipped for the top job include outgoing Virgin Money CEO Jayne-anne Gadhia and Metro Bank’s boss Craig Donaldson. Mr Pester’s replacement will be tasked with rebuilding the lender’s reputation after a botched IT switch led to weeks of problems for 1.9m customers.
Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury committee, said Mr Pester had “set the tone for TSB’S complacent and misleading” communication during the crisis. In a letter to the committee confirming Mr Pester’s departure last month, TSB chairman Richard Meddings then got Mrs Morgan’s name wrong – addressing it “Dear Morgan” – and dated it September 2019.
One City headhunter said companies are increasingly asking recruiters to draw up a balanced gender shortlist of candidates “or justify why not, which gives them an out” amid pressure to diversify. A Government-backed review found earlier this year that bosses were using “pitiful and patronising” excuses to keep women out of the boardroom.
Dame Inga Beale said in a recent interview that she was trolled when she became the first female boss of Lloyd’s of London almost five years ago. Ms Beale, who has now stood down from Lloyd’s, is viewed as a potential successor to Aviva’s former boss Mark Wilson.
Sources said the insurer has appointed City recruiter Spencer Stuart to find a replacement for Mr Wilson, who was pushed out last week.