About us

Chris Pond


Chris Pond (Chair) is also Chair of the Lending Standards Board and the Equity Release Council Standards Board and is an independent director with Current Account Switch Service (part of Pay.UK) and of Cape Claims Services, an asbestos compensation scheme. Chris is also a trustee of the Money and Mental Health Policy institute (for which he chairs the Mental Health and Income Commission) and is a member of the Treasury FinTech Development Panel. Chris has in the past been CEO of two national charities (Low Pay Unit and Gingerbread) and chair or trustee of many others, most recently The Money Charity and GambleAware. He was Member of Parliament for Gravesham between 1997 and 2005, serving as Work and Pensions Minister and as a ministerial aide in the Treasury.

Sian Williams
Vice Chair


Sian Williams (Vice Chair) is CEO of Switchback, an award-winning London-based charity supporting young men leaving prison to build sustainable lives they can be proud of. 

Sian has been a champion for lived experience-led systemic approaches to financial inclusion since 2009, both in her previous work leading Toynbee Hall’s research, policy and innovation programmes in London’s East End and through a range of representative roles, including on the Payments Strategy Forum, the PSR Panel, the Link Consumer Advisory Council, the BBA Consumer Advisory Group, the APP Scams Steering Group, the NILS Advisory Group, the Pay.UK End User Council and the Financial Inclusion Policy Forum. 

In all her work, Sian aims to deepen policy-makers’ understanding of systemic causes of exclusion and inequality and demonstrate how co-designing solutions with those people directly affected by an issue leads to more effective, efficient and sustainable solutions. Sucesses include securing the fee-free Basic Bank Account entitlement for people denied access to a mainstream current account and initiating the HMT-funded No Interest Loan Scheme pilot. Key interests are payments innovations which meet the needs of people on precarious incomes (e.g. Request to Pay), increasing access to affordable credit, and ensuring all UK residents have access to a full range of financial products and services that add genuine value and security to people’s lives.  

Sian is also Chair of Positive Money, a new economy think tank which campaigns for a money and banking system that enables a fair, sustainable and democratic economy, and a Non-Executive Director at the Financial Inclusion Forum, UK-based network raising awareness of financial inclusion and sharing best practice.

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles
Vice President


Sherard has been at HSBC since 2013, working as Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive, and more recently heading the Group’s global government and public affairs functions. Earlier he spent over 30 years in the British Diplomatic Service, finishing his career as Ambassador to Israel, Saudi Arabia and then Afghanistan. 

Sherard is Chair of the China-Britain Business Council, the Saudi British Joint Business Council, and the Omani British Business Council; Honorary Vice President of the UK Financial Inclusion Commission, a Committee Member of The Hong Kong Association; and a Board Member of Asia House. He is an Ambassador for the Money Advice Trust, and for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust; and a member of the fundraising committee for Maggie’s charity. 

Sherard is the author of two books: Cables from Kabul and Ever the Diplomat

Sir Brian Pomeroy


Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE was formerly Chair of the Treasury’s Financial Inclusion Taskforce. He was the senior independent director of the Financial Conduct Authority and Chair of the UK government’s Action Group on Cross-Border Remittances. He was formerly a trustee, and then Ambassador, of Money Advice Trust. He is a non-executive director of QBE Insurance Group 

He was formerly chair of the Independent Commission on Equitable Life Payments, the Gambling Commission, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, the Payments Council, the National Lottery Commission, Centrepoint, Homeless Link and The Photographers’ Gallery; a member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel, the Audit Commission and the Disability Rights Taskforce and The Social Market Foundation; and a Nominated Member of the Council of Lloyd’s.  He was the Senior Partner of Deloitte Consulting. 

Charles Randell CBE

Charles Randell CBE 

Charles Randell CBE was Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority and of the Payments Systems Regulator from 2018 to 2022. Prior to that, he was a founding member of the board of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority when it was established in 2013. He has also held positions on the boards of two Government Departments, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

From 1980 to 2013 he practised at the law firm Slaughter and May, where he is now a Senior Adviser.

Charles is a member of the Leadership Council of the East End Community Foundation’s Life Chances Campaign, and a patron and volunteer at LinkAge Southwark. He is also a Visiting Professor in financial services law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London.

John Howells


John Howells is the Chief Executive of LINK, the UK’s cash machine network (www.link.co.uk). John joined LINK in 2011 and led its spin-off from bank ownership and establishment as an independent organisation. LINK now plays a key role in ensuring access to cash for consumers as the UK moves increasingly towards digital payments. It is one of a handful of systematically important payment systems regulated by the Bank of England and the Payment Systems Regulator.

John’s previous roles include for Capgemini, as Executive Lead for Public Sector Consulting and support for the Department for Work and Pensions. His early career was with Gemini Consulting’s financial services strategy practice and Lloyds Bank.

John Godfrey


John is Levelling Up Director at Legal & General. Educated at Lochaber High School, and Oxford University, he has worked in the City of London for over thirty years, whilst also serving as Special Adviser to Douglas Hurd as Home Secretary and in 2016-17 as Head of the Prime Ministers’ Policy Unit. He is involved with a number of think tanks and other institutions active in domestic policy.

Danielle Treharne


Danielle has spent the past 14 years working in financial inclusion, most recently as Head of EMEA and APAC at Remitly, a digital cross-border remittances leader. 

Prior to this, Danielle worked for several years in diaspora and emerging market consumer finance, and on the ground in several African countries. She led a DfID-financed private sector development programme in DR Congo; launched and scaled a mobile-enabled health microinsurance business in Uganda; as well as spearheading inclusive finance initiatives in Senegal and Egypt. Danielle currently serves as an advisor to bMoneywize, a UK social enterprise promoting financial education for children, and as a Non-executive Director of Techfugees. In 2017, Danielle was named as one of Management Today’s 35 Under 35 Women in Management, and in 2022 she won the ESG award on the Innovate Finance Women in Fintech Powerlist. 

She is passionate about the intersection of financial inclusion and fintech, particularly for the benefit of women and marginalised groups.


Laurie Edmans CBE


Laurie has spent a lifetime in pensions, investment and retirement related areas. He is a non-executive director of NOW Pensions Limited, a member of the Independent Governance  Committee of Zurich UK, and chairs B Different, a financial services research agency. He is a Commissioner of the Financial Inclusion Commission, and a member of advisory boards of Lincoln Pensions and Fairer Finance.

He has been a trustee of the Quest School for autistic children for 15 years and is a member of the ‘Employ Autism’ Development Board. established by Ambitious About Autism.

A founder director of NEST, of the Pensions Regulator and of the Money Advice Service, he chaired Marine and General Mutual Assurance and the ABI’s pensions and savings committee. During his executive career he was corporate development director of AEGON UK and deputy chief executive of National Provident Institution. He was appointed CBE for services to pensions reform in 2006.  He is a fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute and of the Pensions Management Institute.

Seema Malhotra MP


Seema Malhotra is the Labour and Cooperative Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston and Shadow Minister for Employment. Her primary policy interests are in the economy, business, and equalities. She has been a member of the influential House of Commons Select Committee on Exiting the European Union and its successor from 2016-2020.

Seema served as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2015-2016. She founded and chairs a local charity Hounslow’s Promise focussed on education attainment, social mobility and employability. From 2014-2015, she served as Shadow Home Office Minister for Preventing Violence against Women and Girls where she led on aspects of the Serious Crime Bill for Labour. Seema also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Assistive Technology APPG Entrepreneurship and APPG on Mortgage Prisoners. Prior to entering Parliament, Seema was a business and public service adviser working with the video game and film industries. She has over ten years’ experience with leading firms Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. She is on the Executive of the Fabian Society, a national think tank, and is the Founder and President of the Fabian Women’s Network.

Baroness Claire Tyler


Baroness Claire Tyler sits in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat peer since 2011. She is currently a member of the Lords Select Committee on Public Services and before that was a member of the Lords Select Committee on Intergenerational Fairness. Previously, Claire chaired the Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion which reported in 2017 with a follow up report published in 2021. 

Claire is the Co-Chair of the APPG on Social Mobility and Children, Vice-Chair of the APPG’s on Mental Health, Wellbeing Economics, Carers, and Strengthening Family Relationships.

Claire is a member of the Financial Inclusion Commission and President of the Money Advice Trust.

Outside of Parliament Claire is a Board Member of Social Work England. Prior to that she was Chair of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service 2012-2018. She became President sof the National Children’s Bureau in 2012 and Vice-President of Relate.


Bailey Kursar


Bailey Kursar is founder of fintech-for-good Touco Lab. A financial inclusion advocate, she is also a member of the Government’s Financial Inclusion Policy Forum.

At Touco, she led the development of an Open Banking app designed to help those with mental health problems better manage their money with the help of a family member of carer. Working with the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, her team was able to develop the app with direct input from those with lived experience, adhering to an inclusive design methodology.

Bailey is also author of an industry guide to inclusive design published by the Money Advice Trust and Fair By Design. 

Prior to founding Touco, Bailey worked at several early stage ‘fintech’ companies including MarketFinance and Monzo.

Howard Taylor


Howard is Global Delivery Lead at technology and management consultancy Capco, focusing on Finance Risk and Regulation. His professional experiences have been varied and rewarding. Supporting financial services firms to engage more effectively with the needs of their customers and their own regulatory responsibilities, Howard has led creative teams that innovate via new technology and transform key operational processes and customer-facing experiences.

Outside of Capco, he chairs the governing body of The Bridge School in Islington and was involved in setting up a free school within the broader Bridge London Multi Acasdemy Trust. He was also heavily involved in a social enterprise committed to lowering the cost of white goods for indivuduals who need to purchase them on a Buy Now Pay Later basis. 

Growing up outside Oxford, Howard’s early life was complicated, adjusting to life in a wheelchair and proving to the education system that he could contribute fully to the conversation. As a Financial Inclusion Commissoner, Howard will look to draw upon this ‘lived’ experience as well as his experience in financial serices. Life has taught him to be patient and pragmatic in seeking compromise and a way forward. He is passionate about equality and believes that everyone has a voice, and we all deserve respect and understanding. In the words of Martin Luther King: “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

Johnny Timpson


Johnny Timpson OBE has over 40 years insurance and banking sector leaadership and business development experience and is the principal of Johnny Timpson Consulting and Non-Executive Chair of special military insurnace brokerage Absolute Military. 

A Financial Inclusion Commissioner, he is additionally a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, the Prime Minister’s Champion Group for Dementia Communities, the BIBA Access To Insurance Committee, the Building Resilient Households Group, and GAIN- the Group for Autism Insurance, Investment and Neurodiversity. 

Johnny has ambassador roles with Age Irrelevance, the GriefChat bereavement support service and the Invictus Games Scotland 2027 Bid. He currently has advisory roles with the Vocational Rehabilitation Association UK, the University of Edinburgh Business School, University of Bristol and the Protection Distributors Group. 

Awarded an OBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours and recipient of multiple professional body and industry awards, Johnny is a former Cabinet Office Disability and Access Ambassador for both the Insurance and Banking sectors (both public appointements), plus was founding Chair of the Access to Insurance Working Group and TISA Consumer Protection Committee. 


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