Steve Lamey yesterday became Student Loans Company’s third chief executive since 2010 to leave the organisation in disgrace, after being sacked following an investigation into his conduct.
After suspending Lamey in July, SLC revealed on 9 November that his contract had been terminated “following investigations into allegations about aspects of his management and leadership”.
The company, which administers tuition fees and maintenance loans and is owned by the Department for Education, has appointed Peter Lauener, outgoing chief executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, to lead on a temporary basis.
Lamey’s dismissal from the £200,000 post follows former chief executive Ed Lester leaving in 2013 amid a tax avoidance scandal and the resignation of then chief Ralph Seymour-Jackson in 2010 after SLC failed to make payments to thousands of students.
SLC said in a statement: “Following investigations into allegations about aspects of his management and leadership, the SLC has decided to terminate Steve Lamey’s contract as chief executive officer of the Student Loans Company (SLC).
“The SLC and its shareholders expect the highest standards of management and leadership and these were not upheld by Mr Lamey during his time in this role.” No further details were specified.
Shadow universities minister Gordon Marsden wrote to his government counterpart Jo Johnson in September asking him to clarify details of Lamey's suspension, and calling for an inquiry into way SLC operates with HMRC. The Treasury Select Committee has since launched an inquiry into the student loans system.
Lamey was appointed chief executive in June 2016. Prior to that he worked for outsourcing companies, including acting as interim director of Serco for a brief spell in 2013, and for HM Revenue and Customs between 2004 and 2012, including as chief operating officer and chief executive of child benefits and tax credits.
The statement said that Lauener, who was due to retire this month and also serves as chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships, will take over on 27 November and stay until a permanent appointment is made.
SLC’s current acting chief executive, David Wallace, will revert as planned to deputy chief executive, a position he has held since 2011.