Colin Dearlove will be replaced by former director of Abbey National Mark Pain.

Housebuilder Barratt has announced that its finance director Colin Dearlove is to step down.

Dearlove is retiring after 25 years service with the Newcastle based housebuilder and will be replaced by Mark Pain, former Finance Director of Abbey National plc.

Dearlove, 54, joined Barratt in 1981 and became group finance director in 1992, holding the position for the last 14 years. He has worked for three Barratt group chief executives - Sir Lawrie Barratt, the late Frank Eaton and current group chief executive, David Pretty.

Pretty said: "Colin Dearlove has done a tremendous job for the Barratt Group over the last 14 years and his contribution to the financial strength of the business is testimony to that. Colin will ensure an orderly handover to Mark Pain and will then be free to enjoy a hard earned retirement. We wish him well."

Pain, aged 44, will be appointed an executive director of Barratt Developments on 1 March 2006 and will assume full responsibility as group finance director after an initial handover period. David Pretty added, "We are delighted to have someone of Mark's calibre for this key role. He brings a wealth of experience as a former FTSE 100 executive director and we expect him to 'stretch' our thinking and help drive the business forward."

Pain became the FTSE 100's then youngest finance director in 1998, aged 36, when he joined the group board of Abbey National plc. In addition to his role as Abbey's finance director, he has also served as chief executive of Abbey National treasury services and as main board director responsible for retail sales.

Pain said, "I am delighted to be joining Barratt at such an exciting time. With an outstanding track record of earnings growth, combined with an excellent operational capability and strong brand name, there are tremendous opportunities to enhance shareholder value further."