The finance specialist who had to steer the Co-op Bank through its 2013 crisis has taken up a role overseeing legal services complaints. 

Rod Bulmer was announced today as one of two new lay members of the Office for Legal Complaints. He is joined at the OLC by Shrinivas Honap, a veteran of numerous posts in government and public sector bodies. 

Bulmer was an executive director of retail banking at Santander before spending 11 years in various senior roles within the Co-op Group. 

He was at one stage acting chief executive and then deputy chief executive of the Co-op Bank with the task of rescuing the institution and initiating a turnaround after the business suffered massive losses. Branch closures and staff reductions followed as the company tried to react to financial difficulties and falling customer numbers. 

Bulmer also became acquainted with the legal services market when he served as chief executive of consumer services and oversaw the expansion of its legal arm.  

Honap is chair of the pensions committee of the British Transport Police Authority and chairs the audit committee of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. He is also a board member of the Office of the Public Guardian and UK Atomic Energy Authority. In his executive career, Shrinivas held senior roles in Capita Plc, Vodafone and Egg Financial Services. 

According to the Legal Services Board the two new recruits will help to administer the Legal Ombudsman and decide how legal complaints are handled. The ombudsman service is going through a difficult period due to the volume of complaints and staff turnover, and is currently advising users it will take up to six months for their complaint to even be picked up. 

The Legal Services Act requires the Legal Services Board to appoint the chair and members of the OLC board. LSB chair Dr Helen Phillips said the breadth of experience of the new appointments ‘will significantly benefit the working of the OLC, the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) and the interest of the consumer of legal services’.