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CEO Ashley steps down from McColl’s Alba Bank

Rod Ashley, left, will be succeeded on an interim basis by Jonathan Thompson

Alba Bank, the SME-focused lender founded by entrepreneur Jim McColl, has announced that Rod Ashley is stepping down as chief executive after six years in the post.

He is the second senior figure to leave the bank in the past year after chairman Graeme Jones quit after just eight months.

Jonathan Thompson will assume the role of acting CEO to lead the business over the next critical phase. Dominic Wade also joins the firm as chief financial officer from Unity Trust Bank, where he held the same role.

Mr Ashley, who was previously CEO of Airdrie Savings Bank, said: “I have enjoyed every moment of leading Alba from the early days but now is the right time to step aside.

“I will be following Alba’s progress over the coming months and wish the team every success.”

Metro Bank chairman Robert Sharpe, who took over from Mr Jones in September, said: “Rod has been a part of the Alba story for 6 years but has decided now is the right time to move onto other interests. He leaves with our thanks and best wishes.”

Jonathan Thompson, acting CEO, said: “I am delighted to take the reins at Alba and lead the bank through this next critical phase. It is great to have someone of Dom’s calibre alongside me as we take the business forward.”

Former Scottish Financial Enterprise CEO Mr Jones stepped down last April after just eight months to take on other challenges.

Alba, which is not yet operational, is backed by a list of blue chip investors including Sir Brian Souter, the former Stagecoach boss, David Coulthard, the former Formula One motor racing driver and David Moulsdale, who runs the opticians chain Optical Express.

The bank had been due to launch in the second half of 2021 but the plan was delayed by the impact of the pandemic and current economic conditions.

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