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2019 Conference Speakers

Confirmed Speakers


David Blunt, Head of Conduct Specialists Department in Supervision, FCA
Culture Transformation in Financial Services: The New Era

Firms’ culture and governance is a priority for the FCA. We want culture in financial services to be transformed so firms and individuals create and maintain healthy cultures that reduce the potential for harm. The introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime for banks and insurers – now being extended to most firms we regulate – sets a new standard of personal conduct in financial services. It is part of a new era in financial services, where senior leaders are seeing the benefits of having a healthy culture and are stepping up to lead culture change in their business.

David is Head of the Conduct Specialists Department in Supervision at the FCA. David is responsible for the extension of the senior managers and certification regimes to all FCA authorised firms. This is one of the FCA’s workstreams delivering on its priority of governance and culture at firms, for which David is the accountable executive. As well as having responsibility for SM&CR and the FCA’s culture and governance priority, David also oversees the FCA’s specialists on financial promotions and consumer contracts issues, as well as specialists in remuneration at firms and the FCA’s use of its powers under s166 FSMA (“skilled persons”).

David has been at the FCA/FSA since 2000 where his roles have included heading the investment banks department in Supervision Division and a variety of roles in the Markets and Enforcement divisions.

Prior to joining the FSA, David worked at the London Stock Exchange in its Listing Division.

David trained as a solicitor and worked at Lovells (now Hogan Lovells) from 1992-1998 where he specialised in commercial litigation involving banks and other financial services firms.


Dr Andrew Sentance CBE, Independent Business Economist
UK and Global Economic Prospects

The period of economic growth which started after the Global Financial Crisis – across the global economy and in the UK – has now continued for over a decade. That raises the question of how much longer it might continue, and which forces could bring it to an end. Should we expect a continuation of economic growth or a major turning point? There are plenty of risks and threats to worry about: rising global protectionism; instability in the Middle East: worries about the sustainability of growth in China; signs of economic weakness in the Eurozone; and, of course Brexit. In his presentation, Andrew Sentance will take stock of the economic health of the UK and the global economy, and present his assessment of the outlook as we move into the 2020s.

Dr Andrew Sentance is an independent business economist based in the UK, who worked with PwC as their Senior Economic Adviser from 2011 to 2018. Before joining PwC, he served for five years (2006-11) on the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), through the global financial crisis and its aftermath.

Prior to his time at the Bank of England, Andrew held a number of senior positions as an economist in the business world. He was Chief Economist and Head of Environmental Affairs at British Airways and was one of the five senior managers appointed in 2001 by Chief Executive Rod Eddington to prepare the company’s “Future Size and Shape” turnaround plan.

He joined British Airways in 1998 from London Business School, where he was Director of the Centre for Economic Forecasting. Previous positions held include Head of Economic Policy and Director of Economic Affairs at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). He was a founder member of the Treasury’s Panel of Independent Forecasters – established in 1992 to provide advice to the Chancellor of the Exchequer under John Major’s Conservative Government.

Andrew was educated at Eltham College, Clare College Cambridge and the London School of Economics, where he gained his PhD. He is a former Chairman and Vice-President of the Society of Business Economists and is also a part-time professor at Warwick Business School and a Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London. He was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2012 New Year Honours.

Throughout his career spanning 25 years, Andrew has given talks, speeches and presentations to a wide range of business and financial audiences on economic issues, relating to global and UK prospects and policy issues. He is a well-known media figure and has a strong reputation for explaining complex economic issues to audiences in an engaging and accessible way.


Rob Haslingden, Head of Propositions, Experian
Affordability and the Illusive Income & Expenditure Analysis

Within this session we’ll talk about how Open Banking has helped enable tools that make for more compliant and profitable business processes and how paying attention to affordability enables better credit risk decisioning and ultimately better capital risk from the lender’s perspectives, as well as better financial outcomes for consumers.

As well as propositions, Rob is also Experian’s UK lead on Open Banking. His focus is to demonstrate how financial services organisations can maximise the benefits of Experian’s consumer and business information to minimise risk, improve customer management and mitigate fraud.


John Wightman, Ombudsman Leader, Financial Ombudsman Service
Complaints about Affordability in High Cost Credit

In the last financial year, the ombudsman service received almost 40,000 complaints about payday loans, with most complaints about whether the lending was affordable. The service is now starting to see an increase in complaints about the affordability of other high cost credit products, including guarantor loans, home credit and rent-to-own agreements. This session will look at the latest trends the service is seeing, its approach to complaints about affordability and its view of what good complaint handling looks like.

John Wightman is an Ombudsman Leader at the Financial Ombudsman Service. For the last three years John has overseen the service’s work on complaints about high-cost, short-term credit – an area which has seen a sharp increase in complaint volumes. Prior to that, John worked in the ombudsman’s PPI and Packaged Bank Account teams, where he oversaw external engagement with banks, claims management companies and their regulators. Before joining the ombudsman service, John held senior management positions in the charity sector.


Greg Stevens, CEO, CCTA
Presentation Title Pending

Details coming soon.

Greg Stevens has worked at senior director levels and consultancy in the consumer credit industry for nearly 25 years. During that period he has been proactive in lobbying, influencing and liaising with politicians, government bodies, regulators and other stakeholders for the industry and trade associations.

Greg has held senior roles within the FLA, CCA and has been the chief executive of the CCTA for the last seven years, previously the chairman. He was actively involved in lending for many years, and fully understands the pressures that firms are under as they navigate the new FCA landscape.

Greg held commercial director and senior manager positions in 3M, Olivetti, Moulinex, Blue Circle and Belling prior to his time in consumer credit. He also held a non-executive trustee position at The Money Charity, which he relinquished in 2015/6.


Vaughan Owen, Chief Marketing Officer, Acquired
The Secret World of Payments

Payments has long been seen as a grudge, a must have evil, simply stealing margin from customers, consistently proving itself as a ‘dumb’ system built on legacy infrastructure that is built to enable the ‘fat-cat’ banking system rather than help the merchant do better business.

Join this session to see how new technologies and partnerships can help uncover the hidden secrets and opportunities lying untapped in the payments value chain. Value which can build deeper customer relationships, reduce friction and manual processes and unlock hidden margin and business insights through a deeper understanding of payment data.

Vaughan is a seasoned professional with over 25 years’ experience in business development and leadership.

He started off his career in advertising, creating campaigns for Unilever, KFC, Nestle and IBM among others. An entrepreneur at heart, in 2008 Vaughan started his own agency, which after 5 years was nominated as one of South Africa’s top five advertising agencies. In 2013, he sold it to Publicis Groupe, one of the world’s largest marketing and communications companies. 

In 2016, Vaughan took on the role of CEO of COMO Global S.A., a FinTech solution that automates payments for merchants. Here he refined and developed its offering, growth strategy and roadmap, leading the executive, technical, sales and marketing teams. In May 2018, Vaughan went back to his roots in marketing as co-founder of Owen+Co a strategic consultancy helping companies understand their purpose and the role it plays in uncovering real business transformation and profitability. It was in this role that became one of his key clients, helping them with their marketing strategy and content. Recently he has joined the team as Chief Marketing Officer.

John Lamidey, Sernior Partner, Arminius Associates
Consumer Credit Policy 2001 - 2019 and Beyond...

John Lamidey considers whether the continuous regulatory reform of consumer credit since 2001 has led to better outcomes for consumers. Then he looks to the horizon to comment on the potential of upcoming regulatory interventions – the senior managers and certification regime; a regulatory breathing space and repayment plan; including a duty of care within the application of FCA principles; and requirements for adequate financial resources to avoid, amongst other matters, the disorderly wind-down of a firm. Finally, he examines the direction of travel of fintech entrants to the consumer credit market, seeking to disrupt established models.

John was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and Cambridge University. After a 19 year army career he became Assistant Data Protection Registrar (now Information Commissioner’s Office) handling compliance and policy issues for consumer credit and direct marketing. In 1996 John became Director of the Consumer Credit Association spending the next decade representing the Home Credit market with Government Departments, the European Commission, regulators and the media.

His consultancy Arminius Associates was set up in 2006 and worked with a large non standard finance provider and helped set up the Consumer Finance Association representing payday lenders in 2008. John was CEO of the CFA from its inception until August 2012. He specialises regulatory and public affairs concerning non standard consumer credit supplied by non-bank lenders. He supports the Consumer Credit Trade Association as a policy adviser on high cost short term credit issues.

Afternoon Panel Sessions


Regulatory, Culture & Compliance, Financial Services Ombudsman

Where are we currently?

Has five years of FCA regulation improved consumer protection and choice?

Is the consumer credit industry served well by the regulator and Financial Ombudsman Service?

Is Open Banking working for the many?

Has more date proved beneficial for customer choices?

What is our wish list for the industry?

What is our wish list for the consumer?

What is the future of consumer credit products?


Political, Public Policy, Press & Media, Presentation, Persuasiveness

Where do we need to be, to influence the future?

Has three and a half years of Brexit strangled the normal running of the government scrutiny of regulation, services, and good practice. Has the machinations, and political in-fighting,  provided a platform for populist agendas to rise to the top, without the appropriate scrutiny and depth of research?

Whatever the outcome of the election the industry needs to set the agenda for the consumer to avoid a potential lack of access to responsible credit and freedom of choice, whether aspirational or needs based. How do we do that?

anything else?

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