The Payments Council today (15 July 2014) announces the appointment of three new independent directors to its Board, with immediate effect.
Sarah Chambers, Christine Farnish CBE and Robert Lerwill bring a wide range of experience in consumer policy, financial services and regulation to the Board. They join Clare Spottiswoode CBE as one of the Board's four independent directors.
Sarah is an expert in regulation, competition and consumer policy. Until 2013 she was a senior civil servant, most recently a director at the Department of Energy & Climate Change. From 2008 to 2011 she was director of consumer & competition policy at the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, where she led major reviews of the competition and consumer regimes.
Christine Farnish CBE
Christine has wide experience of financial services, public policy and regulation. In addition to her role as independent director of the Payments Council, Christine is currently chair of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) and lead reviewer of the Money Advice Service on behalf of HM Treasury Ministers. She was also previously a managing director at Barclays, CEO of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and consumer director at the FSA.
Robert Lerwill is a chartered accountant. He spent 13 years with Arthur Andersen and ten at WPP as chief financial officer. He then joined Cable & Wireless as chief financial officer in 1996 and subsequently served as deputy chief executive and then chief executive of Cable & Wireless Regional, leaving in 2003. Robert was CEO of Aegis Group from 2005 to 2008, and was eight years on British American Tobacco's Board as a non-executive director until 2013. Robert currently serves as a non-executive director of ITC Limited, a large Indian conglomerate, DJI (Holdings) plc and Spire Healthcare Group plc.
Gerard Lemos, chairman of the Payments Council said: "The independent directors and I are responsible for making sure that customers' needs are keptept at the heart of everything the Payments Council does. This is a critical role because payments touch everyone's lives every day, and I'm very confident that Sarah, Christine and Robert, with their diverse experience and wealth of expertise, will contribute enormously."
The Payments Council Board is made up of 15 voting directors, a voting independent chairman and an observer from the Bank of England. In addition to the independents, 11 directors are appointed by the industry to represent a cross section of the Payments Council membership. The board consults on important issues such as proposals for innovation or any significant policy statements.
Each independent director holds one voting seat and is appointed for a period of three years, which can be extended once for a further three years. The independents play an important role to ensure that the needs of all users of payment systems are met - any two independent directors have the power of veto.
One of the independent director positions became vacant following the appointment of Gerard Lemos as independent chair in March 2014. The other vacancies resulted from the end of the term of service of former independent directors Michael Alexander and Stephen Locke.