MATHS ace Benny Higgins has delivered some impressive numbers during his ten years in charge of Tesco Bank but the process has not been trouble-free and some may wonder how much growth is left in the lender. With customer numbers rising from around 5 million to 5.6m under Mr Higgins, Tesco has consolidated its standing as a significant force in the financial services market while becoming a major employer in Scotland.

As a self-styled challenger, Tesco may have benefited from consumer disenchantment with giants such as its former joint venture partner Royal Bank of Scotland following the 2008 financial crisis.

Retrenchment moves by the likes of RBS meant Tesco could tap into a pool of skilled workers who were in the market for new jobs in the sector in Scotland.

But hostility to the giants may have dissipated over the years.

Tesco Bank lost face in 2016 when thousands of customers had funds stolen from their accounts in a cyber attack, although it refunded the money. It has faced challenges developing its current account business.

Mr Higgins’s successor, Gerry Mallon, could find advances in technology help the bank increase sales and efficiency. Its parent group has a vast customer base.

But changes in technology are also helping new players to enter the market.