Abbey National today said its chief executive Francisco Gomez-Roldan has died three weeks before he was due to step down.
Mr Gomez-Roldan, who spearheaded the bank’s recent revival, died aged 53 in New York on Saturday where he was receiving treatment after falling ill last year.
Despite his illness, Mr Gomez-Roldan returned to work in February this year and he was due to stand down on August 21.
Last week, Abbey’s Spanish parent company Banco Santander Central Hispano named 42-year-old Antonio Horta-Osorio as his successor.
Lord Terry Burns, Abbey chairman, said that Mr Gomez-Roldan “was an outstanding individual, a talented executive and a delightful colleague. We will all miss him."