View more on these topics

Co-op Group chairman quits after ‘serious questions’ over drugs scandal

The Co-operative Group chairman Len Wardle has quit with immediate effect after “serious questions” were raised over the scandal surrounding former Co-op Bank chair Reverend Paul Flowers.

Wardle was set to leave next May but has now resigned with immediate effect following allegations published in the Mail on Sunday that Flowers bought crystal meth and crack cocaine.

Treasury select committee MPs have also questioned how the “incompetent” Flowers managed to become chairman of a major bank.

Flowers is being replaced by Co-op Group deputy chair and chief executive of the Lincolnshire Co-operative Society Ursula Lidbetter.

Lidbetter will chair the group through the current governance review, which will include consideration of how the board is constituted and chaired.

Wardle said: “The recent revelations about the behaviour of Paul Flowers, the former chair of the Co-op Bank, have raised a number of serious questions for both the bank and the group. I led the board that appointed Paul Flowers to lead the bank board and under those circumstances I feel it is right that I step down now, ahead of my planned retirement in May next year.

“I have already made it clear I believe the time is right for real change in our operations and our governance and the board recently started a detailed review of our democracy. I hope the group now takes the chance to put in place a new democratic structure so we can modernise in the interests of all our members.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. It could have been worse.

    Barclays employed some bloke called Sants

  2. Err, hang on. Flowers knew nothing about banking. And the new Chair, Ursula Lidbetter knows nothing about banking either apart from establishing (not running) a credit union.

    Lessons learned there by all and sundry.

    You give up, you really do.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm