Council leader not to draw a fee “at this time’ as he becomes non executive director of pension fund owned bank

COUNTY council leader Nick Clarke revealed today that although he will become a non executive director of the bank bought by Cambridgeshire’s pension fund he will not draw a fee “at this time”.

Cllr Clarke said he was delighted to be able to be able to now talk about the joint venture with Trinity Hall about the creation of Cambridge & Counties Bank.

“We now jointly own (50 – 50) a brand new bank that has been Financial Services Authority approved,” he said.

“There has been much talk about a new bank locally for some time, well now it is a reality.”

Cambridgeshire’s local government pension fund manages assets of �1.6 billion whilst Trinity Hall sees the investment as offering a good return on its endowments.

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Cllr Clarke promised the bank would give small businesses a “real boost and the chance to grow at a time when it’s proving hard to secure funding even for viable business propositions.”

He said to ensure the pension fund gets maximum value from the bank he has become a Financial Services Authority approved non executive director of the bank.

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“I have decided not to take any payment for this role at this time,” he said. “Getting FSA approval was an interesting process and very challenging. Not only was my personal record scrutinised I also had two interviews in London.”

The new bank’s team is led by chief executive Gary Wilkinson who has held a number of senior roles in the banking and building society sectors.

Mr Wilkinson said one area where he hoped the bank would succeed would be by “focusing on plain English and transparency”. The bank would focus on personal relationships with clients and promised loan applications would get a preliminary response within 48 hours.

The bank will take on deposits from the former Leicester based Pensions Bank which provided banking services to pension funds.

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