Irish banker to leave Cyprus for London in fresh start at NewDay

John Hourican will leave troubled Bank of Cyprus to helm consumer credit group

Bank of Cyprus chief executive John Hourican. Photograph: Misha Friedman/Bloomberg

Bank of Cyprus chief executive John Hourican. Photograph: Misha Friedman/Bloomberg

 

After a number of reports in the UK media over the weekend, Bank of Cyprus confirmed yesterday that its Irish chief executive, John Hourican, would step down in September after serving a six-month notice period.

Hourican has agreed to join UK consumer finance group NewDay, having received approval from British regulators.

NewDay has 4.7 million customer accounts and a portfolio comprising both own-brand and co-brand products and unsecured personal loans. It has partnerships with a number of high-profile retail groups, including Amazon and Debenhams.

The company is backed by private equity groups Cinven and CVC and firmly in expansion mode, adding 1.2 million customers last year, and taking on new funding from investors from the United States and Japan. Reports suggest Cinven and CVC are considering selling the business.

For Hourican, his return to London will be doubly satisfying. His family moved back to Dublin a number of years ago, with Hourican originally announcing his departure from Bank of Cyprus in 2015 to find a position in the “British isles”.

His search for a new role didn’t work out and he remained with the troubled Cypriot lender, helping to turn around the performance of the listed bank in the intervening period. Joining NewDay will therefore significantly reduce his commute.

This move will also mark Hourican’s return to financial services in London six years after he resigned from a senior role with Royal Bank of Scotland in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal.

Curiously, Hourican never landed a senior banking role here, in spite of the sector being hollowed out after the crash in late 2008, and his name being linked with several senior roles.

Hourican yesterday described NewDay as a company with “so many strengths” that provide “exciting new opportunities” for growth.

“I can’t wait to get started,” he said, which could make his six-month notice period in Nicosia feel like a long stretch.

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