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Metro Bank CIO promotion signals a return to CIO prominence

Martyn AtkinsonDigital and change director for challenger bank Metro Bank Martyn Atkinson is becoming the bank’s CIO it has been announced today.

Atkinson will take on the new role on September 4, 2017 and reports to CEO Craig Donaldson, Metro Bank said in a statement and importantly Atkinson will be a member of the executive leadership team at Metro Bank.

Atkinson joined the bank in January 2016 from building society Nationwide where he had led the transformation team for three years.

“At Metro Bank, we are constantly improving how we anticipate and meet the needs of our fans,” CEO Donaldson said in a statement.  CIO Richard Corbridge says organisations and CIO peers should aspire for customers to be fans, the transformational CIO says it is unhealthy that the technology industry look at customers as users, a term also used by illegal drug dealers. Corbridge told peers in a CIO community event organised by this scribe that CIOs should aspire to create fans of the technology offering they deploy, something Metro Bank CEO Donaldson clearly believes to be important. Horizon revealed last week that health sector CIO Corbridge is leaving his national role in Ireland to take up a new position at the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS trust.

Donaldson said: “An essential component is how we deploy and use technology whenever our customers interact with us – online, on the go, instore or over the phone.  As CIO, Martyn will be tasked with delivering a stand-out customer journey.”

Atkinson, CIO, added: “It’s an absolute honour to be appointed as CIO at Metro Bank, which is undoubtedly the best place to be in British banking today.  We are growing every day, have world-class agile technology, and are committed to servicing the needs of our customers through the channel of their choice, I can honestly say there isn’t a more exciting CIO position out there.”

Atkinson will be accountable for IT strategy and architecture, IT development, support and operations, operational resilience and risk management and continue to be responsible for the bank’s change and transformation division.  

A Cambridge graduate Atkinson has also held the Head of Business Change at insurance company  Friends Life, along with senior roles at Lloyds Banking Group and consultancy Accenture.

It is interesting to note how Metro Bank has put its backing behind the CIO job title, in effect decreasing the relevance of digital.  A telling statement of how important a CIO is in the press release is that Atkinson “will be instrumental in making sure the bank continues to provide a superior customer experience, across all channels, with fully integrated front and back office technology”.  Fully integrated front and back office technology is a key strength to what a good CIO offers an organisation and in many of the discussions Horizon has had with the community something many digital job specifications lack.  Although a challenger bank with little legacy – Metro Bank was founded in March 2010 – seven years worth of trading and data requires a strong and integrated approach.  As an industry observer, I would argue that the CIO role is once again coming to the fore as organisations realise to deliver great customer centric services requires great integration and solid operational excellence.

Metro Bank was the first bank to receive an operating licence in the UK in 150 years. The organisation is backed by private capital

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About Mark Chillingworth 19 Articles

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