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Payment Systems Regulator appoints Ruth Evans as chair of the Payments Strategy Forum

Published 15 07 2015

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), the new economic regulator for UK payment systems, has appointed Ruth Evans as the chair of the Payments Strategy Forum. 

Ruth is currently chair of The Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD), the independent co-regulator for the editorial content of UK video on demand services. 

She will begin her new role on 27 July 2015. A full biography can be found in Notes to Editors, below. 

The Forum will bring together the payments industry and representatives of all those that use payment systems (banks and other large financial firms, consumers, small and medium sized businesses, technology providers, and many more) to work in partnership and drive collaborative innovation in payments. 

As chair of the Forum, Ruth will be responsible for guiding and progressing Forum discussions. The chair will be independent of industry, but appointed by and accountable to the PSR. Together with the PSR and other Forum members, she will be responsible for its success.  

Speaking about the appointment, Ruth Evans said:

“The world of payments is at a critical juncture. There are lots of good examples of innovation that have already made our day to day lives easier - but equally, consumers could receive a better deal if industry acts together to promote their interests.”

“The Forum will establish which areas require collective action on innovation, then develop and agree strategies to take them forward and bring to market. It’s a big ask, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Hannah Nixon, managing director of the PSR, added:

“The Forum is the melting pot where problems can be discussed and solutions are created. We want it to be a place where all corners of the payments industry can come together and have an equal say, working as one body to boost innovation.

“Ruth’s extensive experience of leading organisations that are known for their capacity to innovate to promote the public interest made her the standout candidate for this role and I look forward to working with her.”

Today we have also issued a call for members to help us find around 20 individuals in senior positions to populate the Forum. These people will have the ability to shape and make decisions on strategy or policy within their organisations and the sector more broadly.

The first Forum meeting is expected to be held in autumn 2015. A Forum working group has been busy helping set the Forum up, including helping create draft terms of reference.

We recently published an update on the progress made by the Forum working group and outlining what happens next. Also published was a factsheet answering common questions.

Notes to editors

1. Biographical notes 

Ruth Evans has a thirty-year track record representing the consumer and public interest across a wide range of industries, serving as Chair and Deputy Chair of four regulatory boards (Authority for Television on Demand, Bar Standards Board, Ofcom Consumer Panel and the General Medical Council’s Standards Committee); Chair of two independent Inquiries (the Brompton & Harefield Inquiries into Baby Deaths, and the Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work); NED of four financial services businesses; leading three charities (War on Want, MIND and Maternity Alliance); and serving as CEO and Accounting Officer of a NDPB, the National Consumer Council, for 7 years. 
 
Today she is the Chair of ATVOD, the regulator of television on demand, Senior Independent Director of CPP Group PLC, and Non-executive Director of the Serious Fraud Office.  

Until recently, Ruth held several appointments on Regulatory boards. In professional regulation, she was the first Chair of the Bar Standards Board, the Regulator for Barristers responsible for setting standards where she led reviews of its Code of Conduct, Complaints Handling and Training and Education functions. She was also a Lay Member of the General Medical Council for 9 years and Chair of its Standards and Ethics Committee where she ran the review of the professions’ code, Good Medical Practice, and was involved in its plans for revalidation. In economic regulation, she was Deputy Chair of the Office for Communications Consumer Panel for five years; and Board Director of PhonePay Plus. Ruth has a background in governance, quality assurance, diversity, communications and risk and has applied this knowledge in a range of non-executive directorships, from the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the National Audit Office and Queens Counsel Appointments Panel, to commercial NEDs including the Nationwide Building Society and Liverpool Victoria Group. She also is a founding Trustee of Alacrity Entrepreneurship Foundation, a graduate scheme established to build successful new technology companies. 

Ruth began her professional life in charities, volunteering for Liberty after graduation before being appointed at 22 as the first Director to a newly established coalition of charities and poverty organizations, the Maternity Alliance. Following that Ruth joined Mind as Deputy Director, then Acting Director, before taking over as Chief Executive of War on Want where, upon arrival, she discovered the charity was insolvent, and took it into receivership. From there she went on to run the National Consumer Council for three terms of office. 

Ruth has a daughter aged 19 and lives in London. 

2. Read the Forum call for members and find out how to apply.

3. Read more about the Forum on our website, including the recent update on progress.

4. The PSR was incorporated on 1 April 2014 and became fully operational on 1 April 2015.

5. The PSR has three statutory objectives: to promote effective competition in the markets for payment systems and for services provided by those systems, including between operators, payment service providers and also infrastructure providers, in the interest of service-users; to promote the development of innovation in payment systems, in particular the infrastructure used to operate payment systems, in the interest of service-users; and to ensure that payment systems are operated and developed in a way that considers and promotes the interests of service-users

6. The PSR is responsible for the regulation of designated payment systems and all participants in those payment systems (payment service providers, operators and infrastructure providers to those payment systems).

7. The PSR website.