New N&P chief exec announced

The former chief executive of Standard Life is to take over the reins at the troubled Norwich & Peterborough Building Society as it heads into a proposed merger with Yorkshire Building Society.

Anne Gunther will take over as chief executive at the N&P tomorrow.

At Standard Life she had responsibility for Standard Life Healthcare and the direct client relationship operations of �12bn mortgage and savings bank Standard Life.

Ms Gunther replaces the N&P's former chief executive Matthew Bullock, who announced his retirement after 12 years in the role earlier this year.

Ms Gunther said: 'The society has a strong heritage to fall back on, following a difficult year, and I join with the prospect of a merger ahead. I look forward to the challenge of leading N&P through the next phase of its life and continuing to support our members and local communities.'

Gordon Horsfield, chairman of N&P, said: 'I'm delighted N&P has secured someone of Anne's calibre to lead the society through the next phase.

'Anne has had a long career in retail financial services and brings a real understanding both of our mutual business model, with its strong focus on customer service, and the management of change.'

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Before Standard Life, Ms Gunther was managing director of direct channels at Lloyds TSB, including Internet banking and responsibility for transforming the bank's call centres from cost to income centres.

Her career in banking began with NatWest, which she joined as a graduate management trainee in 1976 and ultimately progressed to head of telephony.