FCA appoints new Chair at the Financial Ombudsman Service

Baroness Zahida Manzoor CBE has been appointed Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service. The appointment was made by the FCA Board with the approval of HM Treasury.

Baroness Manzoor will take up the role on 2 August 2019, succeeding Sir Nicholas Montagu who is stepping down after more than seven years in post.

Baroness Manzoor was appointed to the House of Lords in 2013, where she served as House of Lords Government Whip and Minister between March 2018 and May 2019. Before joining the Lords, Baroness Manzoor spent over 20 years at board level within large, complex organisations. She served as The Legal Services Ombudsman for England and Wales and The Legal Services Complaints Commissioner. While a member of the NHS’ policy board, Baroness Manzoor was one of eight Regional Chairs overseeing the NHS’ operations and was involved in leading significant transformation programmes.

Charles Randell, Chair of the FCA, commented:

‘I’m delighted to welcome Zahida and I look forward to working with her. The Ombudsman Service fulfils an essential role in delivering a fair system for resolving disputes between consumers or small businesses and financial firms. Zahida brings extensive experience of public service, governance and dispute resolution to the role.

‘Sir Nicholas is stepping down as he reaches the end of his final term after seven years leading the Board at the Ombudsman Service. I want to thank Sir Nicholas for his service over a period of significant change and wish him well.’ 

Commenting on the appointment, Baroness Manzoor said:

‘My appointment to the role of chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service follows a career dedicated to public service and ensuring fair treatment in people’s everyday lives. I very much see that continuing with the ombudsman service.  I wish Sir Nicholas Montagu well as he hands me the baton and I look forward to working with Caroline Wayman and ombudsman service colleagues, who I know are committed to providing a modern and first rate service to all. And it’s vital too that we maintain effective and constructive relationships with all key stakeholders to ensure we all work together in the best interest of all users of the service.’

Sir Nicholas Montagu, Chair, commented:

‘I am really pleased to be handing over to Zahida Manzoor. Our organisation is very different from the one I joined 7 years ago, and change is a continuing theme. But so too are our values of fairness and public service, and the dedication of our people who have achieved so much during my time here. Zahida is ideally placed to lead both that change and our future achievements and I wish her well in doing so.’

Notes to editors

  1. The FCA is required by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) to appoint the Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service, with the appointment being approved by HM Treasury.
  2. The Board of the Financial Ombudsman Service is entirely non-executive and is responsible for ensuring that the service is properly resourced and able to carry out its work effectively and independently.
  3. Baroness Manzoor was, until May, a House of Lords Government Whip & Minister for the Home Office, International Trade and the Department for Health and Social Care. In taking up her role as Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service, Baroness Manzoor has resigned from her role on the front bench, and will now sit as a backbench Conservative peer. She will not participate in debates or vote on any matters touching the Financial Ombudsman Service’s jurisdiction.
  4. On the 1 April 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  5. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well.  To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  6. Find out more information about the FCA.
  7. The Financial Ombudsman Service was set up to resolve complaints between financial businesses and their customers. It can help with most financial services – including banking, insurance, PPI, loans, mortgages, pensions and investments. From 1 April 2019, its remit was extended to cover complaints from larger small and medium sized businesses and about claims management companies.   
  8. Find out more information about the Financial Ombudsman Service.