Abbey FD favourite to lead the bank

Link: Abbey National to book share options

The board is though to be ready to appoint Hester within a fortnight, following the departure of top man Ian Harley over the summer.

The former Credit Suisse First Boston employee is thought to have found favour in the City and from chairman Lord Burns for his drive to cut costs, reshape the company around the core businesses of lending and mortgage, and for imposing a more efficient risk management system.

Other candidates for the job include Barclays deputy chief executive John Stewart, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s head of retail Gordon Pell and Northern Rock chief executive Adam Apple.

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