City veteran Lord Myners has been appointed to the Co-operative Group’s board as senior non-executive director and will chair the review following the scandal at the Co-operative bank.
Myners, a former chairman of Marks & Spencer who has previously chaired a governance review of mutuals for the Treasury, takes up his position with immediate effect. He will undertake the role for a nominal sum of £1.
He will lead a review of the group’s democratic structure, including how the make-up and running of the board, which was initiated in the aftermath of a financial crisis at the Co-operative Bank and drug-taking allegations against the financial institution’s former chairman, Paul Flowers. The controversy has dominated the tenure of new group chief executive Euan Sutherland.
Myners said that the Co-op has a “proud history” but must modernise. He said: “Right now it faces serious challenges in terms of business performance and ensuring that the right governance is in place to deliver in the interests of all its members and customers.
“In my new role I look forward to working with the rest of the board, with Euan and his new management team and to engaging with the membership. Together we will make sure that the Co-operative Group can realise its significant potential and properly capitalise on the huge opportunities ahead.”
Co-operative Group chair Ursula Lidbetter said: “We are delighted that Paul [Myners] has agreed to chair our governance review.
“We have made it clear that we need to modernise and to embed the very best standards of corporate governance – while also ensuring that the voices of all our members and customers resonate through the business.
“Paul is ideally placed to oversee that work given his extensive experience across business and public life.”
Co-operative Group chief executive Euan Sutherland said: “He brings significant and valuable experience across a number of fields and will be a great asset as we work through the final stages of the recapitalisation of the bank and move to take the wider group to the next phase of its development.
“His leadership on the governance review will be crucial. I lead a dynamic, new management team and we have already started to make real progress on the important work of rebuilding the group, having stabilised the bank.
“What our customers, colleagues and wider membership base needs is an organisation and a business that they can be proud of again and I believe that Paul has a key role to play in helping us deliver that.”