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Board members

Ian Pickering, Chairman

Ian Pickering joined the Board as a non-executive director in 2005 and was appointed Chairman of the Board on 1 January 2013. He is also Chairman of the Nominations and Governance Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee, and the Non-Executive Directors' Remuneration Committee.

A graduate of Cambridge University, Ian is a qualified Chartered Accountant and for the past 10 years has held a number of non-executive directorships. He started his career as an auditor, working principally in financial services. He then spent 20 years in senior positions in the engineering industry, including at Dennis Group plc and Manganese Bronze Holdings plc.

Janet Ashdown, Non-executive Director

Janet Ashdown joined the Board as a non-executive director in September 2013. She is a member of the Remuneration Committee and the Board Audit Committee.

Janet worked for BP for 30 years until 2010, with experience in the UK and overseas. Her last role in BP was as head of BP's UK retail and commercial fuel marketing and supply business. She also spent over 10 years in BP's oil global trading business as a trader and trading manager. On leaving BP Janet became chief executive of Harvest Energy, a UK-based oil distribution and marketing business. She is currently a non-executive director of SIG plc, Marshalls plc (both members of the FTSE 250) and of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Peter Ayliffe, Deputy Chairman

Peter Ayliffe joined the Board as a non-executive director in May 2013. He is a member of the Board Risk Committee and the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Peter was president and chief executive officer of Visa Europe from March 2006 to September 2013. Prior to joining Visa Europe, Peter spent over 30 years in retail banking and was for the last two of those years a main board director at Lloyds TSB with responsibility for the UK retail bank. He has also been a member of the board of Investors In People (UK), Visa International and Visa Europe and president of the Chartered Management Institute. Peter is currently chairman of Monitise plc and a trustee of the charity Pennies.

Roger Burnell, Senior Independent Director

Roger Burnell joined the Board as a non-executive director in 2008. Roger is the Society's senior independent director, is chairman of the Board Risk Committee and chairman of the Board Audit Committee and a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Roger is a Chartered Accountant with over 35 years' senior executive and non-executive experience. He worked for several businesses within Thomson Travel Group before becoming group chief operating officer and has also been chairman of a number of businesses and senior independent director of Thomas Cook Group.

Ian Geden, Non-executive Director

Ian Geden joined the Board as a non-executive director in 2008. Ian is chairman of the Remuneration Committee. He is also a member of the Board Risk Committee and the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Ian has over 30 years' experience in the financial services sector, primarily in the mutual sector, including NFU Mutual where he was chief executive before retiring at the end of 2008. Ian was also vice chairman of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and chairman of the Association of Mutual Insurers. Ian is a non-executive director of Faraday Underwriting Limited.

Mark Parsons, Chief Executive

Mark Parsons joined the Board as chief executive in July 2014. Mark is also chairman of the Non-Executive Directors' Remuneration Committee.

Mark was previously chief financial officer for retail and business banking at Barclays Bank. Mark worked at Barclays for eight years, having joined as managing director of the home finance division of the UK retail bank. He later served as deputy chief executive of the UK retail bank.

Mark is a graduate of Sheffield University and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. His career spans 30 years in retail financial services, having worked at Abbey National and PwC prior to Barclays Bank PLC, in leadership roles covering finance, products, branches and personnel. He has previously served as deputy chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

John Lowe, Finance Director, Executive Director

John Lowe joined the Board as Finance Director in 2010. John is a member of the Non-Executive Directors Remuneration Committee.

John joined the Society in 2007, initially to manage the Corporate Planning and Product Development functions, before assuming the role of deputy finance director in 2009. A graduate of Oxford University, John is a Chartered Accountant and, since qualifying with Deloitte, has over 18 years' experience of financial services gained across a broad range of businesses.
 

Peter Frost, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Director

Peter Frost joined the Board in November 2012 as the Society's chief operating officer and has responsibility for all aspects of the Society's operations, including IT and Change. 

A graduate of Liverpool University, Peter has over 25 years' experience in financial services. Prior to joining the Society, Peter worked at Barclays Bank PLC where he was operations director for the UK retail bank. Before this he had a number of positions at Woolwich Building Society and Woolwich plc. Peter has also held a number of non-executive directorships including roles at Vaultex and iPSL.

Catherine Doran, Non-executive Director

Catherine Doran joined the Board as a non-executive director in August 2016. She is a member of the Board Audit Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

Catherine is an experienced IT executive who has worked for regulated businesses for 30 years, latterly as chief information officer of Royal Mail plc from 2011 to 2015. Previous posts have included six years at National Westminster Bank plc, most recently as head of department, retail services; three years as chief information officer of Capital One; two years as chief information officer, BT Retail; and five years at Network Rail rising to director of corporate development. Catherine is also a non-executive director at Defra. 

Alasdair Lenman, Non-executive Director

Alasdair Lenman joined the Board as a non-executive director in November 2016. He is a member of the Board Audit Committee.

Alasdair began his career at Mars where he qualified as an accountant, before moving to Centrica. His financial services experience started with the move to Lloyds TSB in early 2006, initially as the finance director of the insurance division before moving to a general management position.

He then transferred into retail banking where he was finance director, initially for mortgages before assuming responsibility for all retail products, through the financial crisis and the HBOS integration. He joined BGL Group in 2012 becoming chief financial officer, before leaving in 2016 to take up his current role as group chief financial officer of peer to peer lender Wellesley & Co.