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Jessica Fino 26 Apr 2017 12:48pm

Stephen Jones named as UK Finance CEO

The former chief financial officer of Santander has been named as the head of the new trade association UK Finance

Stephen Jones has been appointed as the chief executive of the new banking group, which will merge the British Bankers’ Association, Council of Mortgage Lenders, Payments UK, Asset Based Finance Association, UK Cards Association and Financial Fraud Action UK.

UK Finance will be legally created on 3 July and aims to represent the UK finance and banking industry. The group seeks to “play a constructive and effective role” in ensuring the future health of the financial services industry in the UK.

Jones was previously a managing director and head of investor relations at Barclays, as well as the finance boss at Santander between 2012 and 2015 and a member of the Santander UK Board until October 2015. He has also worked at Citigroup and Schroders.

He is currently a senior adviser at Cerberus Global Advisors and the chairman of Capital Home Loans.

At UK Finance, he will lead the new lobbying group from its offices in Angel Court, next to the Bank of England.

Jones said, “I am excited to be joining UK Finance at this formative time, and believe that the expertise and reach of the constituent organisations will be deepened by coming together.

“We will serve our members by helping them build a more customer-focused and innovative finance and banking sector for the benefit of the UK economy as a whole."

Ian Coke, head of the financial services faculty at ICAEW, commented on the creation of the trade association by saying, “Cost pressures were the main driver for the merger. Though each body had its own specialist role, there was a big cross-over of membership particularly from the big banks.

“It will be interesting to see what approach UK Finance takes. The BBA in particular was criticised for being too much the defender of banks through the crisis and scandals.

“Appointing a CEO with a background in banking and finance, rather than politics or public affairs, may signal the merged body could have a different focus. There is still a need for strong leadership in rebuilding trust in the sector and embedding higher professional standards.”

Bob Wigley, the former head of Merrill Lynch in Europe and fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants was appointed to the role of chairman of the new association in March.

Commenting on Jones’ appointment, Wigley said, “We are delighted to be able to announce Stephen’s appointment. He will bring drive and focus to the integration, and has the experience and vision to develop UK Finance into a world class organisation working on behalf of its members and millions of customers, small and large, across the financial services sector.

“I look forward to working together with Stephen and many other colleagues to achieve this.”

Wingley was appointed ambassador for UK Business by the prime minister in 2010 and chaired the Green Investment Bank Commission. He was also a member of the court of the Bank of England from 2006 to 2009.

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