How the Foundation will be funded

The 2025 Foundation has been launched with a donation of £150,000 from the Chartered Banker Institute, raised from the sale of the Institute's historical banknote collection.

Our initial target is to raise £1 million to support at least 200 Foundation Scholars between 2017 and 2025, which marks the Institute's 150th anniversary. Looking further ahead, we will continue to build the foundation to support as many individuals as possible.

The 2025 Foundation will rely on voluntary income through:

  • Donations from Fellows, Chartered Bankers and other members of the Chartered Banker Institute
  • Major donations from corporates and individuals.

How the Foundation will be managed

The Foundation is managed by a committee, chaired by David Thorburn (a former President of the Institute), and all members are appointed by the Council of the Chartered Banker Institute. The 2025 Foundation Committee is accountable to the Council of the Chartered Banker Institute for all of its actions.

The committee members are appointed for a three-year term and are eligible for a single term of re-appointment thereafter. The minimum number of committee members is four, with a maximum of eight. At least two must be serving Council members and the others must be current Fellows of the Institute.

2025 Committee

David Thorburn

David Thorburn

Chair |


David joined Clydesdale Bank in 1978 having graduated from the University of Glasgow with a law degree. David completed his Institute bank exams in the early 1980s and today is a Chartered Banker. He also undertook the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1999.

David spent 37 years in banking with the National Australia Bank and TSB Group, latterly as CEO of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. He is also a former Chairman of CBI Scotland, the Scottish Financial Services Skills Gateway and the Advisory Board at Strathclyde Graduate School of Business.

David is a Past President of The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, and former Board Director of the British Bankers Association and Scottish Financial Enterprise. He was a founder member of the Professional Standards Board of the Chartered Banker Institute.

David is now pursuing a portfolio career and is an INE with EY Global and chairs the firm’s Global Public Interest Committee. He also chairs the firm’s UK INE Oversight Committee. David is also an External Member on the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Committee.

Bernard Adjei

Bernard Adjei

Lloyds Banking Group | Programme Delivery Manager


Bernard is a Programme Delivery Manager in Lloyds Banking Group. Since joining LBG in 2014, he has been responsible for the delivery of key projects to improve efficiency in the Banking Industry. He has also be responsible for setting up the RISE (Reach Inspire Support Empower) initiative aimed at equipping disadvantaged young people to build financial awareness and employability skills. Through the scheme, Bernard has supported and mentored more than 200 students in London, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh. 

Bernard was named the UK’s Young Banker of the Year 2016 for his innovation within the International Transfer Market where he developed a concept to improve visibility on international transfers. 

Bernard has been recognised as a Power list Rising Star twice, Black British Business Awards Finance Rising Star in 2018 and GUBA Rising Diaspora. 


Katherine Graham

Katherine Graham

NatWest | Head of Security Services


Katherine has spent most of her career in the financial services industry.  A Programme Director by trade, she has managed people change for the Royal Bank of Scotland (now known as the NatWest Group) during some of the most challenging times in banking.  

Her academic background is in HR disciplines, holding a MA and MSc from Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh respectively, and she is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 

However, she is a fan of reinvention, and is now a technologist!  As head of the global Security Services function for the NatWest Group, she is rolling out the use of AI and robotic process automation, and having fun looking at gamification, and process re-engineering.   

Outside of work, Katherine volunteers at her local Code Club, where young people learn to create games, animations and websites using code, and is a supporter of STEM initiatives. She is also a member of the Board of Management at Forth Valley College, one of Scotland’s leading providers of education and training.   

She is happiest when running through a theme park after her three young boys and believes in creating the right opportunities so that everyone can access learning and drive their own professional development, throughout their whole career.   

Irene Grant

Irene Grant

Craigelachie Consulting Ltd | Executive Coaching & Mentoring


Irene has a portfolio career, running her own business as an Executive Coach, Mentor and Business Consultant and taking on Non-Executive Director roles.  The founder of Craigelachie Consulting Ltd, she is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and works globally. 

Irene is an experienced Executive Director, working as a senior leader in financial services, primarily at HSBC.  Her career is highly international with roles in UK, Europe, USA and Asia. 

Passionate about leadership, diversity of thought and unlocking potential, Irene trained as an Executive Coach and Mentor, qualifying with the Institute of Leadership and Management in 2018.  Through Craigelachie, she supports leaders, aspiring leaders and pro bono clients at companies of all sizes, from start-up to complex, global multinationals.  Clients’ sectors include agri-foods, financial services, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, professional services, public sector and the third sector, located in the UK and internationally.  

In 2018, Irene was appointed a Non-Executive Director and Trustee of Edinburgh International Book Festival, the world’s largest festival celebrating words, literature and ideas.  Irene brings to the Board extensive experience in strategic thinking, finance, risk management and governance plus a deep interest in organisational purpose, values and culture.  Irene is a Fellow of the Chartered Banker Institute, a Committee member at the 2025 Foundation, and an active member of the Association of Coaching, Changing the Chemistry and the Institute of Directors. 

A graduate of Edinburgh University (MA Hons French and Business Studies), Irene currently lives in Edinburgh with her husband, with a daughter working in Cambridge and a son studying at Glasgow University.  The family are all avid sports fans, particularly rugby and football, and enjoy travelling and outdoor activities. 

Ellie Hutchinson

Ellie Hutchinson

NatWest | Operational Risk Manager


Ellie is an Operational Risk Manager in NatWest.  Since joining NatWest in 2016 she has applied her risk expertise across Technology, Payments and Resilience risk for the Group.  She is passionate about ensuring talented young individuals from underrepresented or low-income backgrounds are able to pursue a successful career in banking.  Ellie is an advocate and volunteer for MoneySense and Talk, Learn, Do programmes to help parents and children learn about and talk about money.   

Prior to joining NatWest, Ellie undertook risk related roles for organisations across a range of industries including nuclear, rail and insurance. 

She has a BA (Hons) in Risk Management and is a Trustee for Home-start Stirling. 

John Needham

John Needham

Non Executive Director / Trustee


A Chartered Banker, John’s career at RBS spanned over 39 years including 15 years as an Executive of the bank. During that time, he specialised in banking operations, branch banking, change management, corporate banking, audit and regulatory risk. He served on the Council of the Chartered Banker Institute for 13 years and served as President 2013 - 2015. 

John has an MBA from the University of Strathclyde Business School and retains a keen interest in increasing the professional qualification of bankers across the UK as well as improving the diversity of staff across the industry. 

John is an active Non-Executive Director and Trustee with a number of organisations and is the current Chairman of St Mirren Football Club. 

Robert Owen

Robert Owen

United Trust Bank | Managing Director


Currently Robert is a Managing Director at United Trust Bank, where he heads the Mortgage & Bridging division and a NED at Protection Products Ltd, a specialist insurance company. 

Robert has over 40 years’ experience in the UK banking and building society sectors. He joined the Burnley Building Society in 1976 and in his early career was General Manager at Haywards Heath and subsequently, Head of Lending and Arrears at the Yorkshire Building Society.

In 1995, he joined Lloyds TSB as divisional director of the consumer finance division, latterly as Managing Director of Endeavour Personal Finance a specialist lending subsidiary of the bank. From 2000 to 2006 he was Chief Executive at Matlock Bank where he founded the London Mortgage Company.

In February 2007, he became the Senior Independent Director at Al Rayan Bank plc, undertaking the roles of Chairman of the Audit committee and taking over as Chairman of the bank during the transfer of ownership. He stepped down from this NED role in 2014.

He has BA and MBA degrees, is a Fellow of the Chartered Banker Institute and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers.

View Robert’s LinkedIn profile

Sue Primmer

Sue Primmer

Sionic | Chief Marketing Officer


Sue Primmer is a global Chief Marketing Officer for Sionic, an award-winning specialist financial services consultancy with 300 staff worldwide, working across banking, asset and investment management, financial markets infrastructure, wealth management, insurance and reinsurance. 

Sue has spent over a decade in financial services and was previously Director of Corporate Communications for one of the UK’s fastest growing financial services consultancies where she also established the company’s graduate and management training programmes. 

Sue’s career spans private and public services and both large and small organisations. She was previously Assistant Chief Executive, Communications & Consultation for Hackney Council, dealing with local issues as well as with the impact of national policy and working as part of the Olympic Host Boroughs to secure a meaningful local legacy from the Games in the run up to London 2012. This followed six years as Director of Communications for the University of Birmingham. 

During this period, Sue also acted as media and public affairs lead for the Russell Group over the introduction of tuition fees; founded the Midlands’ Media Centre training several hundred leading research academics, diplomats and business leaders in media skills and; struck a strategic alliance between the University and the BBC, securing a BBC Drama Village on campus. 

Before this, Sue was founding Editor of, an early dotcom start-up owned by Chrysalis media. This followed five years as Director of Communications for one of the UK’s most senior Church of England Bishops, who was also a member of the House of Lords and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Envoy to the Vatican State. 

Sue began her marketing career helping Luton College of Higher Education to become a ‘challenger brand’ in higher education and achieve University status following earlier posts in medical and veterinary publishing. Sue is an English graduate from Cambridge University and has a second degree in the construction of gender in Shakespeare from the University of Durham. Sue is married and lives in East London with her family.

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson

Chartered Banker Institute | Chief Executive


Simon leads our work to shape and implement professional standards and professional development for bankers. Simon Thompson was appointed as our Chief Executive in 2007. In 2011, Simon led the establishment of the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board (CB:PSB). He is a Board member of the CB:PSB and chairs the CB:PSB’s Professional Standards Committee.

Before joining us, Simon was responsible for managing the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB), developing ethics and education standards for accountants. He previously worked for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), establishing ACCA in 25 countries in Central & Eastern Europe, and leading a number of EU and other donor-funded accounting education and reform programmes.

Simon holds a BA (Politics and Economics) from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh. He is one of our Fellows (FCIBS), and a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (MCIPD).

Simon chairs the Global Education Standards Committee recently established by a group of leading international banking institutes, and is a lay member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland. He is a former Vice President of the European Bank Training Network.

View Simon's LinkedIn Profile

Follow Simon on Twitter: @ChtBankerSimonT