Too many company directors aren't up to scratch, a business leader has warned.

It is still the case that some get appointed because they are members of the right golf club, new Institute of Directors West Midlands chairman John James claims.

And he has urged those who appoint non-executives to be more discerning.

His attack comes in the November edition of midland, the IoD's regional magazine.

Mr James is demanding "an improvement in the quality of directors in the region".

He went on: " I am specifically targeting the financial institutions, the banks and the venture capitalists.

" I want them to think harder about who they appoint to represent their interests on company boards.

"They need to look at candidates' qualifications much more closely to establish if they are really fit to be nonexecutive directors who can provide a proactive and constructive source of advice to the executive managers of the business."

Mr James added: "I think we all recognise that too often appointments have been based on somebody's time served in an industry, their high profile or even because they play at the right golf club.

"When an investing institution is appointing someone to represent it on behalf of perhaps as much as 30-40 per cent of the equity in a business, I think the process deserves rather more attention to detail."

Urging potential candidates to go on courses and get qualifications, he noted: "Better qualified directors provide better leadership which must in the long term be to the benefit of the region's economy."