Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Bank boss looks to other interests as he leaves after 30 years with the lender

Richard Donnan, head of the Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland.
Richard Donnan, head of the Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland.
Richard Donnan presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award to Janet McCollum, chief executive of Moy Park at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in 2017
Richard Donnan with the Princess Royal at the Balmoral Show
Richard Donnan with Ireland rugby captain Rory Best and the Six Nations trophy
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Ulster Bank boss Richard Donnan is stepping down from the lender after a 30-year career.

The 48-year-old Co Down man said it had been a "great privilege" to lead the bank over the four years of his tenure in the top job.

It's understood the father-of-three is to spend time on interests outside banking, including studies relating to his religious faith.

Mark Crimmins, who at the moment is regional managing director for business banking in Northern Ireland and Scotland, will succeed Mr Donnan in the top role.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph two years ago, Mr Donnan said he and his wife Janet were active members of the Baptist Church, where his father-in-law had been a minister.

Mr Donnan, who lives in Greyabbey, said he had wanted to join the bank from the tender age of 14, but instead finished his A-levels and went to study business studies at the University of Ulster.

However, he left his studies to get into full-time work at the bank, though he later completed the degree part-time. He also completed more banking exams and obtained an MBA.

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His successor Mr Crimmins is a chartered accountant and former vice-president of the Newry Chamber of Commerce. The past pupil of St Colman's College in Newry praised Mr Donnan for his work.

"Richard has provided exemplary leadership for the bank, helping to make it into a strong, safe and profitable business that supports all aspects of the Northern Ireland economy and we wish him well as he pursues interests outside of banking," he said.

Mr Donnan said it had "been a great privilege to work with so many talented people and businesses across Northern Ireland".

"Ulster Bank has been part of my life for 30 years and, while I'm looking forward to what comes next, I'm proud to leave behind a much stronger and safer bank, one that is focused on doing the right thing and providing help for what matters to our customers," he said.

"Mark has fantastic experience across Ulster Bank's business and is very well placed to lead the bank forward."

A spokesman for Ulster Bank said that Mr Donnan will stay at the bank over the next few months "as he and Mark work together to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities".

Mr Donnan described in 2017 how he felt he could integrate his religious faith with his role in banking.

"One of the key roles of a bank is to support strong and sustainable communities - providing meaningful help and acting with integrity. I find that fits very well with my faith and what I do in working with customers every day," he said.

Belfast Telegraph