Legal Business Blogs

Bank of Ireland GC latest to head to Santander UK

Bank of Ireland’s general counsel John Bennett has departed after three years in the role for Santander UK, where he will serve as chief operating officer and senior counsel for legal and regulatory.

Bennett started in the role at the beginning of November, and joins a 35-strong team led by seasoned legal counsel John Collins, the bank’s director of legal, compliance, regulatory affairs and anti-money laundering.

Collins is also a new addition to the team, having departed the GC role from the Royal Bank of Scotland earlier this year after less than a year.

During his brief stint as GC at RBS, Collins ran a team of lawyers and oversaw the $2bn settlement of US litigation against RBS alongside other banks, including HSBC and Barclays, over alleged losses caused by the rigging of foreign exchange markets.

New addition Bennett is also an RBS alumnus, having joined Bank of Ireland in October 2013 from RBS’s markets and international banking division where he worked as head of legal for transaction services.

Other roles at the latter bank included as head of legal for financial institutions and prior to this, was senior legal counsel for operations at ABN Amro Bank.

The hire comes as the Spanish banking giant faces major uncertainty over Brexit, with the pound’s steep devaluation against the euro since the vote hitting the net profits Santander generated in the UK by 24% to €364m during the third quarter.

At the time of writing a spokesperson for the Bank of Ireland said no replacement had been made.

Other high-profile in-house moves of late include BP’s group GC Rupert Bondy confirming he will step down by the end of the year to join Reckitt Benckiser.