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British state banking body picks new chief

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The organisation which handles the British government's bank holdings has picked the son of a former Bank of England governor as its new boss, it said on Monday.

UK Financial Investments (UKFI) named as its new chief executive James Leigh Pemberton, who is currently the UK head of Credit Suisse, it said in a statement. He will replace outgoing head Jim O'Neil.

As UKFI boss, Leigh Pemberton will oversee the government's stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), and seek to wind down a bad bank unit that contains billions of pounds of toxic loans.

James Leigh Pemberton is the son of Robin Leigh Pemberton, who was BoE governor from 1983-1993.

UKFI was created in 2008 to manage the government's investments in RBS, LBG, Northern Rock, and Bradford and Bingley, after the state stepped in to prop them up.

The government currently holds 38.7 percent of Lloyds and 81 percent of RBS.

UKFI added on Monday that its new boss has worked on a broad range of major advisory and capital raising assignments, including advising HM Treasury on the recapitalisation of Lloyds and RBS in 2008.

British finance minister George Osborne hailed Leigh Pemberton as "the right person" to oversee the recovery of Britain's troubled banking system.

"His significant experience in the financial services industry, gained over two decades, makes him the right person to take us through the next phase of our plan for the recovery of Britain's banking system," Osborne said.

Leigh Pemberton will join UKFI during October and in January 2014 he will be appointed to the new role of executive chairman.

At that stage, current UKFI chairman Robin Budenberg will step down and the role of chief executive will be scrapped, the group added on Monday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130917/british-state-banking-body-picks-new-chief