A note from our new President

  • Bill McCall
  • 24 June 2019
  • Blog

New Chartered Banker Institute President Bill McCall reflects on his time with the Institute – and opportunities for the future.

It is a drawing-breath moment to work out that I’ve been connected to the Chartered Banker Institute for more than 30 years. It began with what was a conventional route at the time, passing the CIOBS (Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland) Diploma and then the old Associateship or "Part 3" (for those of an age). 

Not unlike many of my cohort, banking in the mid to late eighties wasn’t changing quickly enough and I resigned just after my final Part 3 exam and ran away to join the circus of the stock market.

More securities and analysts professional exams followed and I was elected a Member of the London Stock Exchange in 1990. I remain a Chartered Fellow of the Securities Institute (CISI), which is a Chartered Alliance partner of the Chartered Banker Institute.

Ten years of change

In the last decade at the Chartered Banker Institute, I’ve served as Councillor, Vice President and Senior Vice President, wholly appreciative of the team led by Chief Executive Simon Thompson and the significant steps made in the last decade. 

Before that engagement with Council I was, at best, a passive user of the services offered by the Institute, enough to cover my Continuing Professional Development requirement (CPD). Dipping in and out of events that interested me and, wrongly, very self-centred about what the Institute was doing for me.

I had been talking about the reputational hit to ‘bankers’ post the bust of 2007/8 with Anton Colella, who was then CEO at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. In his inimitable way, he showed me the error of my wrong-headed thinking.

Serve to lead

He suggested that I had to be inside the profession to assist, not just a bystander on a distant orbit.  After meeting with Simon and some of the then Council Members, I realised that my stance should be the other way around.

That was 10 years ago and I’ve learned a great deal from fellow Council members who have willingly given their time and skills freely over that decade, especially those from ‘outside’ the profession. 

My challenge to all Chartered Banker Institute Members is to take that different perspective and see their membership as an opportunity to serve, not just be served.

To borrow the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst motto: ‘Serve to lead.’

These values are reflected in the Institute’s 2025 Foundation, which supports talented young people from under-represented groups to start to pursue a career in banking.


Bill is a highly experienced independent Director and has been Chairman of more than 50 private equity backed companies in the UK, Scandinavia and North America. He started his career at Clydesdale Bank, passing the CIOBS (Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland) diploma and associate exams, then joined stockbroker Campbell Neill & Co. He was a Director of Charterhouse Tilney, and is a former Director of Singer & Friedlander Merchant Bank