2 MAY 1987, Page 18

Sir Kit's transfusion

THE road to success in the Midland Bank was long thought to be Bold Street, Liver- pool. Determined clerks from such north- ern branches would rise to be chief general manager, while the chair was reserved for some London or Scottish grandee. From this week the Midland has in Sir Kit McMahon an Australian chairman, who is his own chief executive, running the bank in three divisions — one headed by Ernst Brutsche, and one by Hervey de Carmoy, who are no more Liverpudlian than they sound. Another of his lieutenants says: 'I would not have believed that one man could make such a difference to an orga- nisation' — especially an organisation as inbred as a high street bank. Sir Kit has gone out for new blood, and spilt quite a lot of the old, sometimes painfully. Still, in a bank notorious for its over-complex and over-costly administration, change had to begin at the top. The Midland's had been a long decline, from world leadership, then from national leadership, through divided command and, with Crocker, into serious trouble. The City, now persuaded by Sir Kit to suspend its disbelief in Midland, wishes him well, and so do I.