A former finance chief of Standard Chartered is being lined up as the next chairman of TSB, an appointment that would herald his return to a UK-based bank after a three-year absence.
Sky News has learnt that Richard Meddings is in talks about joining the board of TSB, Britain’s sixth-biggest high street lender.
City insiders said that Mr Meddings would join initially as a non-executive director but that he was expected to succeed Will Samuel as the bank’s chairman next year.
If confirmed, the appointment would be a signal of TSB’s intent to continue expanding following its takeover by Spain’s Banco Sabadell two years ago.
Under chief executive Paul Pester, TSB has made a virtue of its ‘challenger’ status, attacking its rivals on issues ranging from the gender imbalance of their workforces to the system which allows consumers to switch their current account provider.
Spun out of Lloyds Banking Group as part of a state aid deal with Brussels, TSB has faced significant hurdles to becoming fully independent of its former parent.
Analysts say, however, that they have been impressed by the extent to which Mr Pester has carved out a distinctive positioning for TSB.
He has accused competitors of “bamboozling” customers with small print and urged competition regulators to take a tougher approach to dismantling the dominance of the sector’s four biggest players: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Recent results from TSB suggest that his strategy is bearing fruit.
Excluding a big jump in operating costs driven by an increase in outsourcing fees paid to Lloyds, the bank said in July that management profit before tax rose by just under 3% during the first half of the year to £111m.
The recruitment of Mr Meddings as TSB’s likely next chairman follows the bank’s delisting from the London Stock Exchange after the £1.7bn Sabadell takeover.
While it is no longer a separately listed company, regulators have toughened their approach to the governance of major banks.
Since leaving Standard Chartered, Mr Meddings has joined Deutsche Bank as a director of its supervisory board.
He recently stepped down as a non-executive director of Legal & General, and has been linked with a number of public company chairmanships.
TSB declined to comment on Tuesday, while Mr Meddings could not be reached for comment.