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BANKING ombudsman Laurence Shurman is to step down at the end of the year.
Shurman gave up his managing partner post at Kingsley Napley in March 1989 to take up the ombudsman post.
His pending retirement at the end of the year has prompted the Council of the Banking Ombudsman to advertise for a senior solicitor or barrister to take over the position, which has a £100,000 salary.
Whoever does take over the post will lead a staff of 40 with the power to award up to £100,000 against banks.
Shurman is a keen advocate of alternative dispute resolution and is on the council of pressure group Justice, which has campaigned for the greater use of ombudsmen.
He said: "I see the role of ombudsmen growing both generally and within banking. As services get more sophisticated there's more and more possibility for things to sometimes go wrong. Standards are also getting tighter."