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Scandal-hit Co-op Bank's CIO hits eject button after one year

Pete Coleman leaves along with Co-op Group's Lord Myners

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Co-op Bank has lost its chief information officer about a year after he took up the role.

Pete Coleman will leave at the end of April, a bank spokesperson told The Reg. Coleman’s LinkedIn profile says that he’s already gone and looking for other CIO roles.

The spokesperson did not explain why Coleman had ejected from the troubled bank, but did say a replacement would be announced in "due course."

Coleman became CIO in April 2013, having served briefly as CIO for specialist businesses in the Co-operative Group. Before that, Coleman led IT development at the Nationwide Building Society for nearly three years, and was HBOS's head of IT for eight years.

Coleman claims he was “heavily involved” in the Co-op Bank's "liability Management exercise" that recapitalized the organisation at the end of 2013 after a £1.5bn hole was uncovered in its finances. Nearly three quarters of the bank was sold to US hedge funds, and its credit score was downgraded to junk status by ratings agency Moodys.

Coleman also claims to have built a new IT strategy for the bank that provided a “simpler customer-focused business.” That included, he said, a simplified infrastructure to help cut the bank’s costs by 12.5 per cent in six months. IBM and Cap Gemini supplied the organisation with new IT gear.

The news of Coleman’s exit emerged as it was reported former City minister Lord Myners, an independent director brought in last December to reform the Co-operative Group, had quit. The Co-op Group has a 30 per cent stake in the bank, which tomorrow is expected to report a £2bn loss.

Among the bank’s many troubles, its proposed takeover of 632 Lloyds Bank branches collapsed last year, and its ex-chairman the Reverend Paul Flowers was arrested over drug allegations. Meanwhile, the Co-op Group’s chief executive Euan Sutherland resigned last month after just 10 months in the role. ®

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