CLYDESDALE Bank has lured an experienced manager from a rival to run its Scottish retail operations.

Paul Mayer, originally from Glasgow, takes up the newly created post of head of retail branches for Scotland.

Until now Mr Mayer has spent his near 15 years in financial services with Abbey National and Santander.

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Most recently he was a senior regional manager for retail at Santander and has also had spells managing branch networks in London, the north east of England and Scotland.

Now Mr Mayer, who studied law and marketing at Strathclyde University, will take responsibility for the performance and customer service in Clydesdale's retail network.

Mr Mayer outlined that he wants to make a difference for customers and local communities. He added: "This is a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to returning to Scotland to take on this new role."

Steve Fletcher, the head of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank retail network, said: "With his extensive retail banking experience, Paul is a strong addition to our leadership team.

"He has spent a number of years leading a large team of bank managers in south west London. Prior to this, he was a regional manager with responsibility for north east Scotland and northern England and he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Clydesdale Bank."

In March Clydesdale announced plans to close 16 of its 144 branches in Scotland before the end of this year.

The plans, which will also see 12 Yorkshire Bank sites closing, will save around £5 million although the bank also pledged to invest around £45m in customer improvements as well as safeguarding frontline jobs.

Earlier this month Clydesdale confirmed financial services veteran Jim Pettigrew, formerly of Icap, Ashmore and CMC Markets, would be its new chairman after serving as a non-executive director on its board since 2012.