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Key appointments

Hires move McColl’s Alba Bank closer to launch

Jim McColl

Jim McColl: new team

Scots industrialist Jim McColl has taken a step closer to launching his long-awaited ‘investment bank for SMEs’ with the hiring of two directors.

Alastair Christmas joins Alba Bank as commercial director and Mark Dow as HR director.

Mr Christmas has enjoyed a 30 year career at the Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank.

He latterly led a UK-wide team of 200 corporate and finance professionals as UK head of corporate and structured finance at Clydesdale.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Banker Institute of Scotland and has recently completed his term as board member of the CBI Scotland.

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Mr Dow joins Alba from The Mortgage Lender where he helped build and develop the HR strategy for the business. He is a Chartered CIPD Human Resources Professional.

The bank expects to receive a restricted licence to accept deposits from the Prudential Regulation Authority.

If the testing process goes well, the bank is expected to become fully operational in the first quarter of next year.

Rod Ashley, the bank’s chief executive and former head of Airdrie Savings Bank, has recently disclosed that the bank is in talks about raising £20-£25 million which is required to move from a restricted to full banking licence.

This funding , for its first year, would be on top of an initial £4m of funding provided by businessmen Jim McColl, Brian Souter and nine other founding investors.

Alba Bank will launch with about 35 staff, including six to eight dedicated bankers providing a personal service to SME customers.

Rod Ashley, Alba’s CEO, said it was an “incredibly exciting time for the business” and the wealth of experience and track record of the new hires will be “a huge asset to the business as we continue to build a talented team determined on becoming a new bank with a clear vision and purpose – to support small and medium-sized businesses as they develop their aspirations, grow and realise their potential.”

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