Fair4All Finance appoints first two board members

Joanna Elson OBE and Sir Leigh Lewis to join Fair4All Finance’s board

Fair4All Finance is delighted to announce the appointment of Joanna Elson OBE and Sir Leigh Lewis as non-executive directors of the company. As Board members, they will help our team and Founding Chair Richard Collier-Keywood to shape the strategy and direction of Fair4All Finance with the aim of creating an enduring legacy of increased inclusion in financial services for those on lower incomes.

Both Joanna and Leigh have an impressive combination of skills along with considerable experience in the financial inclusion sector.

  • Joanna is Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust, whose vision is to help people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence. In 2010, she was awarded an OBE for services to people in debt.
  • Sir Leigh spent 37 years as a civil servant, latterly as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions from 2005-2010.

Commenting on their appointment Richard Collier-Keywood said:

“I’m thrilled to welcome Joanna Elson OBE and Sir Leigh Lewis to the Board of this exciting new venture. Together we have a unique opportunity to create an enduring legacy of increased inclusion in financial services for those on lower incomes. I have no doubt that having both Joanna and Sir Leigh involved will advance our efforts to solve the problems of access to affordable credit immeasurably.”

Speaking about her appointment Joanna said:

“I’m really pleased to join the Board of Fair4All Finance at a time when there is a growing awareness of the needs of people in vulnerable circumstances  – and that financial inclusion could make a significant and tangible difference to their lives.  In my day job running a debt advice charity I am acutely aware of the effects on individuals, households and families of not being financially included – paying over the odds for high-cost credit, for instance, can make a budget which is challenging to balance, impossible, leading to spiralling debt, and the very negative social and human consequences that can bring.  So being part of an organisation whose mission is to support the financial wellbeing of the most vulnerable people in our society by increasing access to fair, affordable and appropriate financial products and services feels absolutely the right thing to do, and I’m really looking forward to working with Richard and the team.”

Sir Leigh Lewis said:

“I’ve seen at first hand – both when I was at the Department for Work and Pensions and, more recently, in my role at the homelessness charity, St Mungo’s – just how difficult it can be for millions of people in very difficult circumstances to access credit at rates they can afford. That’s why I’m so excited at being able, as a Board member, to support the determination of Fair4All to make such credit far more widely available.”

We welcome both Joanna and Sir Leigh to the Fair4All Finance team and plan to expand the board with the appointment of two further members by the autumn.

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