Barclays UK will announce the appointment of Sir Ian Cheshire as its new chairman on Monday, it was reported. In his new role, Sir Ian will oversee the group's UK-based operations in its high street branch network as well as business banking and domestic Barclaycard business.
Sir Ian, 57, was knighted in the Queen's 2014 New Year's Honours, for services to business, sustainability and the environment. He has worked in a number of organisations since beginning his career as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in 1980.
Most notably, he joined the Kingfisher group in 1998 as the director of strategy and business development, before becoming chief exec of Kingfisher DIY brand B&Q and later chief executive of the entire group.
He is currently the chair of UK department store Debenhams and the UK government's lead non-executive board member.
However, Sir Ian also oversaw the government buy-out of flailing high-street lender Bradford & Bingley, in 2008, leading some to question his suitability for the role at Barclays.
However, nonetheless the appointment has been approved by banking watchdog, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) at the Bank of England, reported Sky News. The PRA was established by the Financial Services Act (2012) and has three statutory objectives to promote "safety and soundness" of firms, to secure protection for insurance policyholders, and to facilitate effective competition within the sector.
Sir Ian will join chief exec Ashok Vaswani at the bank, which has over 20 million retail customers and business clients. Separately, under ring-fencing regulations proposed after the 2008 financial crisis, Tim Throsby will oversee international and investment banking activities.
The ring-fencing regulations are designed to protect taxpayers from further banking bail-outs by ensuring customers on the retail side cannot have money gambled on risky investments. The regulations officially come into force in 2019, though Barclays has said it intends to adopt the structure formally as of Easter weekend 2018.