Ex-financial ombudsman to steer fintech sector through Brexit
Ex-Financial Ombudsman Service boss Natalie Ceeney will be named as chair of Innovate Finance, Sky News understands.
By Mark Kleinman, City Editor
The consumer champion who helped hold banks to account over the PPI mis-selling scandal has been picked to steer Britain's financial technology sector through the challenges posed by Brexit.
Sky News has learnt that Natalie Ceeney, whose previous roles include running the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), is to become the new chairman of Innovate Finance.
Her appointment is expected to be announced this week.
Ms Ceeney will replace Alastair Lukies, the fintech entrepreneur who brought payments firm Monitise to the London stock market.
Her arrival will come as the technology sector presses for greater access to the UK for overseas-based entrepreneurs, and as a number of international banks accelerate plans to relocate some jobs abroad because of Brexit.
Barclays recently announced plans, however, to create thousands of British-based technology jobs, while Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, sought to reassure fintech companies last month about the likely consequences of Brexit.
"We will have to strive and graft and fight to seize the opportunities and make the most of them.
"That means growing and strengthening the areas – like fintech – in which we enjoy a competitive advantage… while we need to continue to attract the brightest and the best from around the world to these shores."
Innovate Finance is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2014 to promote the fintech sector, and its members include Zopa, the peer-to-peer lender, the crowdfunding platform Seedrs and Vocalink, the payment systems operator recently bought by Mastercard.
Deloitte, Lloyds Banking Group and the City law firm Hogan Lovells are also among the 250 members.
Ms Ceeney's most recent executive role was as the head of HM Courts and Tribunal Service, while she has also worked for HSBC.
A source close to the selection process said she had been identified for the Innovate Finance role because of her experience of the UK's financial service industry during a period of rapid technological change.
While at the FOS, Ms Ceeney presided over the response to a deluge of complaints about the way PPI mis-selling claims were handled by the major banks, with many of them upheld.