So he signed off on having him run a bank. He would not do it again.

At a Treasury Committee hearing on how Co-op Bank PLC nearly failed last year, Financial Conduct Authority Director of Supervision Clive Adamson said former Co-op Bank Chairman Paul Flowers’s professed ability to run a board and challenge fellow directors were sufficient qualifications to become bank chairman, despite Mr. Flowers’s acknowledgement that he didn’t have much in the way of banking experience and had been convicted for gross indecency in 1981.

The hearing lasted two-and-a-half hours. Mr. Adamson said he and two regulatory colleagues interviewed Mr. Flowers for around an hour-and-a-half before the chairman appointment in May 2010. He said it was Mr. Flowers’s manner, rather than his resume, that assured him to sign off on the role….

“The subjects we talked about were how he conducted himself in his previous roles, his personal style and how he would use that in his role on the board,” Mr. Adamson said. Pressed by Treasury Committee Chairman Andrew Tyrie on why he had deemed Mr. Flowers capable to be bank chairman, Mr. Adamson said: “It was less his appointments he previously had. It was more how he conducted himself in interview with me….”

Mr. Adamson said Mr. Flowers wouldn’t pass muster if he were applying for the chairman job now, after the U.K. regulator, divided last year into the FCA, overseeing financial market conduct, and the Prudential Regulation Authority, supervising banks, tightened its rules on who can hold top banking jobs.

“Now we would require someone with financial services experience to be chairman,” Mr. Adamson said. However, checking criminal records and asking former employers for references would still be the job of the firm making the appointment, Mr. Adamson said.

Grilling Over Co-op Bank Hire Lasts Longer Than the Job Interview [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]

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  1. Posted by Guest | January 8, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    This is more or less typical of the thinking in board rooms: that all that's required to be an executive is that he's already been one and seems to be a pleasant fellow. A deep understanding of the industry? Relevant education? Strong performance record as an executive? Strategic long-term thinking? Effective at working with all different kinds of people? Oh, what does it matter – he came with the highest of recommendations from all the right people.

    More or less the same thinking ("has done it before" = qualified) that brought you sign language services for the Nelson Mandela funeral.

  2. Posted by Guest | January 8, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    You angry bra?