DAVID Duffy, the chief executive of Clydesdale Bank, is due to fly to Australia this week as part of his strategy to drum up support for Clydesdale’s long-awaited stock market listing.
National Australia Bank is preparing to exit the UK market with the sale of Yorkshire Bank and sister brand Clydesdale by February.
Banking veteran Mr Duffy was brought in to lead the demerger and initial public offering of the lender.
Mr Duffy was hired from Allied Irish Bank, after his successful three-year turnaround of the nationalised lender.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Duffy said: “We are going to be independent for the first time since 1920.
“We’ve struggled with a lack of direction in recent years. The owners were going to sell and then they weren’t.
“It all just created confusion. Now we have a clear plan.”
Mr Duffy also moved to quash rumours that Clydesdale could be a takeover target.
He told The Sunday Times: “We can’t build a business on uncertainties. A takeover is really just a bright shiny thing that needs to be put out of our view.
“If we manage to build a business where customers are happy, we can then make the best choice for the shareholder.
“That could see Clydesdale as the consolidator.
“But if there is a buyer and we have a really strong team, they will have to pay a hell of a premium to get in the door.” Conduct issues have overshadowed the improving financial performance of the bank in recent years.
Yorkshire Bank has invested heavily in new technology as part of its omni-channel banking strategy.
Mr Duffy is spending a week in Sydney and Melbourne speaking to investors and analysts.