The first four independent directors have been appointed to The Payments Council, an independent body established to replace the Office of Fair Trading's Payments Systems Task Force.
The OFT said in November that its payments task force would be wound down and replaced with by an independent entity chaired by Brian Pomeroy - a former senior partner at Deloitte Consulting - and featuring four non-banking directors alongside eleven senior bank executives.
Michael Alexander, Moira Black, Martin Cave and Stephen Locke have now been named as the four independent directors of the council.
Alexander has extensive experience of the energy market having worked at BP and British Gas. As managing director, he and his team devised the multi-product strategy with which they took the business into the deregulated market place, leading the company into credit cards [Goldfish], electricity [dual fuel], and telecoms. From 2003-05, he was chief executive of British Energy, before pursuing a portfolio career.
Black is curently chairman of The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust. After qualifying as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse black became the first female partner in the London office in 1984. Since 1993 she has held a number of appointments, mainly in the public sector.
Cave is professor and director of the Centre for Management under Regulation, Warwick Business School. As well as his academic work, he has also undertaken studies for the European Commission and advised regulatory agencies. In 2006 he was special adviser to the European Commissioner for information society and broadcasting.
Locke is a specialist consultant on consumer policy and regulation and currently serves on the boards of the National Consumer Council and ICSTIS, as well as advising on standards in TV, radio, advertising and insurance. He is also a member of the independent financial services consumer panel advising the FSA on regulatory issues.
The new council will act as the strategic governing body for the UK payments schemes and will focus on innovation, accessiblilty and governance of payment systems. One of its key tasks will be to manage a full public consultation process, leading to the creation and adoption of a National Payments Plan.
Whilst payment schemes remain responsible for day-to-day management, organisations will bound by decisions of the council.
The first meeting of the board of the Payments Council will be held on Friday 30 March 2007.