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Board of Directors

Alan Hughes, Independent Non-Executive Chairman

Appointed to the Board in 2015. Alan chairs the Nomination Committee and is a member of the Board Risk Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

Alan has spent his career in banking, with 35 years of it at HSBC. He was a member of HSBC EU executive committee until 2004. He held responsibility for all products, service, pricing and marketing. He was Chief Executive of First Direct Bank, ran significant subsidiaries of HSBC and was a main board director of its commercial asset finance group. He was responsible for commercial invoice finance throughout HSBC Group.

Alan serves as a Director of Equals Group plc, a Director of Hitachi Capital (UK) plc and as Pro-Chancellor of Loughborough University where he is deputy chairman of its Council.

Alan is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, a prizewinner in the Institute’s professional qualifications and has taught banking. He holds an MBA from Henley Management College. He was a visiting lecturer at Warwick University and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

Margaret Willis, Chief Executive Officer

Appointed to the Board in 2015.

Margaret has over 40 years’ experience in financial services undertaking roles within HSBC in UK, US and Canada. She was a member of HSBC European executive and risk management committee and diversity council. Her board experience included HSBC Securities and Global Asset Management, Canada. She returned to the UK in 2012 leading HSBC Wealth Management Europe and repositioning the UK business ahead of the ‘retail distribution review.’

Margaret completed Advanced Management Programme at Warwick Business School and Strategic Implementation at the International Institute Management Development, Geneva.

Margaret is Trustee of Music for Youth, a national, UK based youth arts charity.

Sandy Chen, Independent Non-Executive Director

Appointed to the Board in 2015. Sandy chairs the Board Audit Committee, and is a member of the Board Risk Committee and the Nomination Committee.

Sandy has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, as analyst and executive. He has published a book titled “Integrated Bank Analysis and Valuation: A Practical Guide to the ROIC Methodology” (Palgrave, 2013), has advised the UK government on banking issues and occasionally appears in national media as a commentator on banking and financial issues.

Sandy is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Graphene Composites Ltd.

Sandy holds a BA ‘magna cum laude et cum honoribus’ in International Relations and a BA in Economics from Brown University (US) and was awarded Phi Beta Kappa academic honours; he also attended Phillips Academy Andover (US).

Jim Gunner, Independent Non-Executive Director

Appointed to the Board in February 2015. Jim is Chair of the Board Risk Committee and a member of the Board Audit Committee.

Jim has spent his career in banking, most of it specialising in risk management.  He was senior executive for group risk at HSBC Holdings plc representing the group in international banking and regulatory forums and was a frequent speaker at industry events worldwide, in particular those hosted by the International Institute of Finance. He also held senior positions in the credit or risk functions in Midland Bank, HSBC (UK) and Merrill Lynch HSBC and represented HSBC at the British Bankers’ Association for many years.  He was also seconded as a consultant to the Financial Services Authority.

More recently, he has served as chair, non-executive director or governor at various NHS primary care and hospital trusts.

He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a prize winner in the Institute’s professional qualifications.  Jim holds a BSc (Hons) in Financial Services at the University, Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Susan Sternglass Noble,  Independent Non-Executive Director

Susan joins the bank with a 30 year career as a global investor in financial services. She was a Commissioner on the Dormant Assets Commission, tasked with unlocking money for the charitable sector, and a Specialist Adviser to the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons.  Susan serves on the boards of Asia Dragon Trust plc, a listed investment trust, and Link Age Southwark. She is a Senior Adviser to the Investor Forum CIC and an active angel investor.

Susan has a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.S.F.S. from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. She is a Fellow of The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Dominic Wade, Chief Financial Officer

Appointed to the Board in 2020.

Dom has over 20 years’ experience working for global banks, undertaking a number of Managing Director level roles at RBS including leading their overall response to Brexit. He was also extensively involved in much of the bank’s restructuring work post the Financial Crisis, managing the Financial Planning and Regulatory teams through the de-risking of the Global Markets business, before running the groupwide Cost Reduction activity.  Prior to RBS he held senior positions at Credit Suisse, UBS, and Merrill Lynch.

Dom has a degree in Accountancy and Management Information Systems and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Allan Wylie, Non-Executive Director

Appointed to the Board in 2003. Allan is a member of the Remuneration Committee, Nomination Committee and the Board Audit Committee and chairs the Unity Trust Bank Pension Scheme board of trustees.

Allan has specialised in accountancy throughout his career gaining extensive experience in a range of industries and sectors; heavy engineering, retail, transport, education and white spirit distillers. Allan has been Director of Finance at GMB Trade Union since 1989 and plays an active role in the general management, financial stewardship, investments, banking and asset management of the union.

Allan achieved masters with honours in mental philosophy at Edinburgh University and obtained his postgraduate diploma in Accounting at Glasgow University. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.



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To find out more about how we make a difference, view our Impact Report – Half Year 2020 or Impact Report – 2019.

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