Spowart steps aside as Intelligent Finance looks abroad

Spowart steps aside as Intelligent Finance looks abroad

Intelligent Finance chief executive Jim Spowart is to move to a new position at parent bank HBOS in the New Year, with a brief to explore the opportunities for launching the IF telenet banking concept in continental Europe and the US.

Spowart, a former Direct Line executive who also set up Standard Life's telephone bank, was recruited by Halifax plc in 1999 to build Intelligent Finance as a direct standalone bank. The loss-making operation, which extended the concept of offsetting interest rates on credit and savings products, has become one of the UK's fastest growing banks, gaining a 10.4% share of the UK's net mortgage market in the first half of 2002. It remains on target to break-even by the end of 2003, says HBOS.

In his new role, reporting directly to HBOS chief James Crosby, the bank says Spowart will be given responsibility for exploring the introduction of the Intelligent Finance proposition to continental Europe and America. He will also be responsible for applying Intelligent Finance's new technology elsewhere within the HBOS group in the UK.

His replacement at IF is Grenville Turner, currently head of intermediary sales at HBOS Retail. Turner is credited with playing a significant part in driving up the group's net lending, which currently claims 31% of the UK mortgage market.

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