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Former HSBC US chief Niall Booker to head Co-op Bank

The Co-operative Group has appointed former HSBC US chief executive Niall Booker as chief executive of the Co-operative Bank. 

Earlier this month, ratings agency Moody’s warned the lender may be forced to seek “external support” due to low levels of capital compared with its peers and large losses on its commercial loan portfolio, estimated to be worth over £1bn.

The ratings agency downgraded Co-op to junk status and said would need to boost its capital reserves to meet regulatory requirements. 

The Co-operative Group chief executive Barry Tootell subsequently quit and was replaced by former Kingfisher chief operating officer Euan Sutherland, who has launched a strategic review to solve the mutual’s capital hole.

The Financial Times reports finance director Steve Humes will stand down this week, with Sutherland already close to appointing a replacement.

In April, the Co-op pulled out of a deal with Lloyds Banking Group to buy 632 Lloyds branches.

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