Saturday 18 November 2017

Glass ceiling cracks at Ulster Bank

News that, brace yourselves, a woman has been appointed head of Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland means the chaps at the top of the rest of the banks are in for a bit of a land.

The bank, owned by UK taxpayers since the financial crash, has named Ellvena Graham to the new position of head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland.

Ms Graham is currently Ulster Bank's chief operating officer (COO) on both sides of the Border.

In fact, she's been with the lender since 1982, working in Belfast, Dublin and the Isle of Man for Ulster Bank. In that time she has had a stint as head of operations across Europe, Middle East and North Africa for its parent RBS, a very big job indeed.

The new Northern Ireland job is effective immediately, but she is to continue as COO and presumably double-job.

The bank no doubt hopes the change will prove, once again, the old adage about women and multi-tasking.

The Punt can't help wonder at the wisdom of a bank that is as accident-prone as Ulster Bank relegating its most senior operations role to a part-time job. Time will tell on that, no doubt.

Ms Graham is a non-executive director of the ESB, a member of the advisory board for the Women's Executive Network in Ireland and a Fellow, ahem, of the Institute of Bankers – who might have to revise their designations.

Irish Independent

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