Gillespie will join Alliance & Leicester in September from RBS where he was chairman of its wholly-owned subsidiary Ulster Bank.
Before joining Ulster Bank, Gillespie spent 14 years at Goldman Sachs as partner and managing director.
Prior to this Gillespie began his banking career at Citibank where he spent 10 years working in debt capital markets sector.
Roy Brown, who was made acting chairman at Allliance & Leicester following the death of Sir Derek Higgs in April this year, will revert to his previous role of deputy chairman and senior independent director following Gillespie’s appointment.
Alliance & Leicester group chief executive David Bennett says: “Gillespie has a wealth of experience as a successful banker and a proven record as a successful chairman of both banking and government organisations. I look forward to working with him on the future development of Alliance & Leicester.”
Gillespie says: “I am particularly pleased to become the next chairman of Alliance & Leicester.
“With its distinctive brand and customer franchise, and broadly diversified retail and commercial banking businesses, it is well positioned to face the challenging times in the banking industry.”