A&L’s Pile to head Sainsbury’s Bank

Sainsbury’s Bank has appointed Alliance & Leicester’s former business strategy and marketing director Tim Pile as chief executive.

Sainsbury’s Bank has appointed Alliance & Leicester’s former business strategy and marketing director Tim Pile as chief executive.

Pile, who left Alliance & Leicester suddenly in September without a job to go to, starts on January 7 and will divide his time between London and the bank’s head office in Edinburgh.

He will be charged with building on the fledgling bank’s success. Its profits this year rose from &£3m to &£13m.

The bank is a joint venture between J Sainsbury and HBOS, which owns 45 per cent, and has 1 million customers. Set up in 1997, it offers a Visa credit card, loans, insurance, mortgages and savings products, but it does not offer a current account.

Pile replaces Hamish Taylor, who is moving to Irish IT consultancy Vision Consulting. Pile will report to Sara Weller, assistant managing director of Sainsbury’s Supermarkets.

Pile declined to outline his plans for the bank.

McCann-Erickson Manchester handles the bank’s direct marketing, worth up to &£10m. Pile says it is “too early” to talk about agency changes.

Last year, J Sainsbury developed closer ties between its bank and its supermarket brands. The bank’s visual identity was updated to match the supermarket’s orange design, and in-store initiatives promoted the bank.

Six new in-store banks were installed over the past financial year, taking the total to 18. More will be opened as stores are refurbished.

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