Former Treasury mandarin Kingman to join Tesco Bank
Sir John Kingman, the City grandee who helped shape the government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis, is to join Tesco Bank as a non-executive director, ruling him out of the race to become governor of the Bank of England.
The chairman of blue chip insurer Legal & General was second permanent secretary to HM Treasury during the crisis, and helped oversee the bailout of the UK’s banking sector. He was then appointed inaugural chief executive of UK Financial Investments, the body set up to manage taxpayer stakes in rescued banks.
More recently, the 50-year-old led an independent review of the Financial Reporting Council, the accountancy watchdog, after concerns were raised over a number of high-profile company collapses. The review recommended the FRC be replaced by a strengthened Audit, Reporting and Government Authority.
Kingman had been touted as a possible long-shot contender to replaced Mark Carney when he leaves the Bank of England in January 2020. He had previously said he was not interested, however, and his decision to join Tesco Bank appeared to underline that.
Graham Pimlott, chairman of Tesco Bank, said Kingman’s experience "speaks for itself and will be invaluable as we drive the change required to ensure the bank can best serve a broad range of Tesco customers".
According to Sky News, citing unnamed sources, Kingman is being lined up to eventually replace Pimlott as and when he steps down.
Tesco Bank, the personal finance arm of the supermarket giant, has around £10bn in deposits. It announced earlier this year it was quitting the highly-competitive home loan market, citing "challenging" market conditions, and last month agreed to sell its mortgage book to Lloyds Banking Group in a £3.8bn deal.
As well as Legal & General, where he has been chairman since 2016, Kingman is chair of government funding body UK Research and Innovation. Kingman will join Tesco Bank on 1 November.