The newly created Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) today appointed Hannah Nixon as its first Managing Director.
Hannah Nixon, who was previously a senior partner at Ofgem, will lead the new regulatory body as it takes responsibility for the £75 trillion payment systems industry in the UK. The PSR will promote competition and innovation in the sector as well as ensuring systems are operating in the interests of their users.
She will begin her new role on Monday 14 July.
Welcoming the appointment, the Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Martin Wheatley said:
"This is an important next step in the creation of this new regulator. Hannah brings with her considerable experience of the regulatory landscape and the banking sector, so I know she will bring a real focus and insight to the challenges that face the industry."
Hannah Nixon said: "This is a vital sector for the UK economy with businesses and consumers dependent on it. They expect it to work effectively and in their interests.
"There is a lot of work ahead, both to ensure that the regulator is ready to hit the ground running and that it starts to address the big challenges the industry faces around continued transparency and encouraging competition in the market."
Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom MP said: "The government set up the Payment Systems Regulator to increase competition in the banking sector and encourage innovation so that customers can realise the benefits of new technologies.
"I wish Hannah Nixon great success as the Payment Systems Regulator's first managing director. She has an important role to deliver real change and ensure that the payment systems work to promote banking competition in the best interests of consumers."
Hannah was responsible for leading Ofgem's regulatory work on Great Britain's gas and electricity networks, including the development and implementation of a new regulatory framework. Before that she was Head of Regulatory Economics at the Office of Rail Regulation, a Senior Consultant and founding member of the Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA) and a Vice President of Deutsche Bank's global markets economics team.
The PSR was created as part of the Banking Reform Act (2013) and will be operational by 1 April 2015 as an independent subsidiary of the FCA. It will oversee an industry where 7 billion transactions are made between consumers and businesses every year.
The FCA has just concluded a call for input on the main challenges facing the industry.