Former Labour minister Lord Paul Myners has been hired as Co-operative Group non-executive director to lead a governance review following a spate of recent scandals.
Lord Myners was Treasury financial secretary from October 2008 to May 2010 working under Chancellor Alistair Darling during the financial crisis.
Myners, who will chair the group’s governance review, has been brought in after the capital shortfalls at the bank were uncovered and former Co-op Bank chair Reverend Paul Flowers was arrested on suspicion of drug dealing last month.
The governance review is looking at the group’s democracy and includes consideration of how the board is constituted and chaired.
In addition, the group is currently looking to appoint two additional independent non-executive directors.
Myners has also been Marks & Spencer chairman, deputy chairman of PowerGen, chairman of The Guardian Media Group and chairman of Land Securities.
He also holds non-executive chairmanships at international investment firm Cevian Capital and Autonomous as well as chairing the Low Pay Commission. He recently led a Treasury review into the governance of mutuals.
Labour has come under fire for its links to the Co-op Group with Flowers a party member who worked on a key Labour business, economic and banking advisory group.
The mutual also donated £50,000 to Ed Balls’s office last year and has provided millions of pounds worth of loans to the party.
The Co-op Bank has secured approval for a major restructure of its organisation after it discovered a £1.5bn capital black hole in April and was forced to pull out of a deal to buy 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches.
The Government has ordered an independent review of the bank while the FCA is investing the bank and directors.
Co-op Group chief executive Euan Sutherland says: “Paul brings significant and valuable experience across a number of fields and will be a great asset as we work through the final stages of the recapitalisation of the Bank and move to take the wider group to the next phase of its development.”
Lord Myners said: “Right now [the Co-op Group] faces serious challenges in terms of business performance and ensuring the right governance is in place to deliver in the interests of all its members and customers.
“In my new role I look forward to working with the rest of the board, with Euan and his new management team and to engaging with the membership. Together we will make sure The Co-op Group can realise its significant potential and properly capitalise on the huge opportunities ahead.”