Gary Hoffman: Made name at Barclays
One of the front-runners to buy the 632 Lloyds Bank branches will let its managers choose their opening hours if it gets the deal.
If successful in its bid, takeover vehicle NBNK says it could mean some of its 5.5million customers will be able to visit their local branch as late as 9.30pm in the run up to Christmas, with banks sharing similar opening hours to neighbouring shops.
'We'll have local decision-making,' said boss Gary Hoffman, the banker who was brought in to rescue Northern Rock before moving to head up NBNK last year.
'Every other bank in the UK is arranged around products. We'll be arranged around customers and geography,' he told the Times.
NBNK face opposition from the Co-operative Group for the branches. The Lloyds board is reportedly due to meet on December 15 to determine a preferred bidder and an announcement is expected before Christmas.
Hoffman, who made his name at Barclays, has also pledged to eradicate short-term annual bonuses for senior managers.
Instead of receiving pay-outs every year and rewards for their ability to sell products, branch staff would be rewarded according to the loyalty of their customers.
'Eighty-seven per cent of customers complain about hard-selling by banks. They talk about being hijacked,' he said.
Lloyds, which trades under the names Lloyds TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester, is being forced to offload the branches as a penalty for the state aid it received during the 2008 financial crisis.
Ministers hope that the sale will create a new bank which will be fit to challenge other banks and shake up the financial services industry.
Hoffman says that NBNK has come to a decision on a name for the bank, adding that people wanted 'something fresh' which suggested NBNK was a new and different bank, not the same as anything before it.