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Gardner joins banking sector brain drain

James Gardner, head of innovation and research at Lloyds Banking Group, is quiting his position to join the UK Government's Department for Work and Pensions.

What does this say about the role of innovation in the stricken commercial banking sector?

In his BankerVision blog, James plays a straight bat to the obvious question: "Whilst most things come to an end eventually, innovation at the bank is not one of them. There is a highly competent team in place, one more than able to carry on the work we've started."

But there is an interesting caveat: "Of course, in the context of the major merger presently under way, the kinds of innovation one can do is necessarily different than if you had a clear playing field."

I'd be interested to know what kinds of innovation path James will be allowed to follow at the DWP, although 'doing more with less' might be an obvious place to start.

This is not the kind of brain drain we were expecting when the Government part-nationalised Lloyds after the disastrous HBOS take-over. Maybe the pension pot - and long-term job prospects - are more secure at the DWP.

Whatever the reasons, banking's loss is the public sector's gain. We wish James well in his new role.

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Paul Penrose

Paul Penrose

Head of Research

Finextra

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