The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made two senior hires, appointing new consumer and small business panel chairs.
Helen Charlton has been named chair of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, replacing Wanda Goldwag.
Charlton is currently chair of the British Gas Energy Trust, and a non-executive director on the board of the Retail Energy Code Company. She also works with The Henry Smith Charity, which provides grants to reduce social and economic disadvantage.
And Andy Mielczarek has been appointed chair of the FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel, taking over from Marlene Sheils. Mielczarek is the founder and chief executive of Chetwood Financial, a UK digital bank focussed on consumer lending and retail savings. Prior to that, he worked at HSBC and was formerly chief finance officer at Marks and Spencer Bank.
Both the consumer and smaller business panels are independent, and aimed at representing the interests of consumers and those who work in small or medium-sized financial services companies.
Their role is to advise and challenge the City regulator in its regulatory approach.
Both Charlton and Mielczarek will take up their new roles on 1 June 2022 for a three-year term.
“I welcome Helen and Andy into their new roles, and I am confident they will continue the panels’ excellent work ensuring our regulation is targeted, effective and delivers for consumers and markets,” said FCA chair Charles Randell.
Randell added that he was “incredibly grateful” for the tenures of Goldwag and Sheils, who “have made a significant contribution as the FCA responded at speed to the pandemic, helped markets navigate the UK’s departure from the EU and as we transformed as an organisation.”
Charlton said: “The panel has such an important role in representing the interests of consumers in the financial services sector.
“This is particularly pertinent now, when consumers are under pressure due to the cost of living.”
Mielczarek added: “The vast majority of FCA regulated firms are smaller businesses, and the panel plays a vital role in connecting those firms with the FCA to maintain a constructive dialogue with our regulator and make sure that regulation is fair and effective.
“With the challenges that we expect in the economy over the coming months, this dialogue will be more important than ever to make sure that we are able to respond in the best way to any challenges that arise. I look forward to continuing the work of the panel to help the FCA meet its strategic objectives.”