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Building society appoints ex-Handelsbanken manager as chief executive

Tom Belger | 15:21 Wednesday 11th October 2017

Stafford Railway Building Society has appointed Michael Smith (pictured above) as its new chief executive .

Michael joined the building society on Monday (9th October) from the Swedish bank Handelsbanken – where he worked as a manager – having previously been employed by Barclays for more than two decades.

Michael – who has served as one of Stafford Railway Building Society's non-executive directors for almost eight years – has replaced Susan Whiting, who has stepped down after almost seven years as chief executive.

Susan will now take over the role of finance director from Jeremy Hodgkiss until a new finance director is recruited to support Michael through the transition.

“The board of the society was very keen to ensure that this appointment met all the needs of a demanding role, while recognising and respecting the enduring values of the society,” said James Dean, chairman of Stafford Railway Building Society.

“We were delighted that Mike proved to be the best candidate in a strong and diverse field.

“We know that he will ensure that our members are at the heart of all we do.

“The fact that Mike is a former director of the society additionally brings continuity to this role and a genuine understanding of what makes the society successful.”

Michael said he was very proud to take over from Susan and praised her for the legacy she had left behind.

“I consider the society is well positioned for further growth and to benefit from the positive changes we see happening both locally and in the financial services sector.

“I am a firm believer in ensuring the best service is provided by remaining close to our members, providing the special personal touch, while embracing the positive attributes of modern technology.”

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