A FORMER Treasury director who helped with the nationalisation of Northern Rock is joining the UK's first fully digital bank.

Edward Twiddy is leaving his role as chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (Lep) to become director of innovation at Atom, which is being set up in the North-East.

Anthony Thomson, founder of Metro Bank, said he was delighted to secure the services of Mr Twiddy as part of a double coup for the branchless bank,  which has also recruited Sophie Haagensen, the Lep's deputy director.

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The pair are due to join Atom in the coming weeks.

The move is the second dramatic career switch for Mr Twiddy who left his position as deputy director of Local Government and Regions
at the Treasury to become the first director of the Lep responsible for growth in County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear.

Mr Thomson, chairman of Atom said: "Edward's involvement is a huge coup for Atom and we are delighted to have him on board. As the UK's first truly digital bank, innovation will be at the heart of everything we do.

"We believe Edward will be the perfect person to drive this with his years of experience and tremendous range of skills and expertise.

"He has done a brilliant job in supporting northern businesses and I know that he will continue to champion local businesses in his new role at Atom.

"Sophie has also been very active in the North-East as deputy director and she brings additional complementary skills to the Atom team," added Mr Thomson, who expects to decide on a North-East location for his bank's headquarters this summer. 

Mr Twiddy said: "I'll miss the team very much as well as the stakeholders and the partners I've got to know. I am, of course, staying in the area and will maintain connections in my new role with Atom."