The UK's biggest vehicle repair network ABS Bodyshop Services has appointed Derek Swann as its new chairman, assisted by Karl Vella as vice-chairman.

Swann, a chartered accountant and former owner of JF Autobodies, was elected unanimously by the ABS board.

Vella, also a unanimous choice, is the owner of five bodyshops in north-west England after starting out as a bodyshop apprentice.

ABS managing director Keith Johnson said both men were widely respected in both the insurance and bodyshop industries.

ABS is owned by all the independent member bodyshops with which it forms partnerships across the UK. It provides services to several major UK insurers.