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Sunday 22 September 2019

Virgin Money confirms talks under way for new chairman

The lender said in a stock market announcement that it is in “advanced discussions” with Irene Dorner.

Virgin Money
Virgin Money

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Virgin Money is on course to be the only FTSE 350 firm with an all-female leadership cast after the bank confirmed it is in talks to appoint Irene Dorner as chairman.

The lender said in a stock market announcement that it is in “advanced discussions” with Ms Dorner, who ran HSBC’s US arm for three years until 2014, as a replacement for outgoing Glen Moreno.

The lender said in a statement: “Following recent press speculation, Virgin Money confirms that the company is in advanced discussions with respect to the appointment of Irene Dorner as independent non-executive director and chair elect to the Virgin Money board of directors.

“Any appointment would be subject to regulatory approval.”

The news comes just a day after Virgin Money’s chief executive spoke of rampant sexism in the City in front of MPs.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia said: “I remember a very senior woman being very upset one day telling me that she was expected to sleep with her boss.

“That sort of thing of course means there are issues for women progressing through financial services.”

If appointed, Ms Dorner and Ms Gadhia will make up the first all woman leadership team at a British bank and in the FTSE 350 index of companies.

The former HSBC woman hit the headlines in 2012 when she apologised in front of a US Senate committee on the bank’s behalf for its involvement in serious misconduct issues in Mexico, Iran and Syria.

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