11 August 2015

Fairer Finance appoints Adrian Coles OBE to head new Consumer Advisory Board

Former Building Societies Association director general will lead new Fairer Finance Consumer Advisory Board.

Consumer group Fairer Finance has appointed Adrian Coles OBE, the former director general of the Building Societies Association, to lead a new Consumer Advisory Board that will have oversight of the organisation

The Consumer Advisory Board will scrutinise the business of Fairer Finance, ensuring that the company only engages in work that is to the clear benefit of financial services consumers.

Fairer Finance was founded by consumer campaigner James Daley in March 2014, and rates banks and insurers based on what their customers think of them, how good they are at handling complaints and how transparent they are.

It funds its consumer campaigns by advising financial services companies how they can be more transparent – reviewing and rewriting their terms & conditions or policy documents in clear language.

James Daley, founder and managing director of Fairer Finance, said: “One of the primary aims of Fairer Finance is to create a clearer, more transparent financial services industry. We do that both by publishing our independent ratings, but also by directly engaging with companies who need help changing their businesses.

“But if we’re to be rating companies that may also be our clients, it’s vital we have the right governance in place to ensure people can have confidence that we always put consumers’ interests ahead of our shareholders.

“We’re honoured that Adrian Coles has agreed to establish and chair this new Consumer Advisory Board for us. Adrian has over 35 years experience in the financial services sector – including 20 years as the director general of the Building Societies Association – so he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organisation. With his support and counsel, we’ll be an even stronger force for change in the financial services industry.”

Mr Coles will recruit new members to the Advisory Board over the coming year. Commenting on his appointment, Mr Coles said: “Having spent much of my career championing the customer-centric values of the mutual sector, joining Fairer Finance felt like a natural fit. It’s quickly established itself as an important voice in the consumer space over the past 18 months, but there’s plenty of work still to do in levelling the playing field between financial services businesses and their customers.

“Banking and insurance are ever complicated markets for consumers to navigate, and there’s a clear need for organisations such as Fairer Finance which are dedicated to creating a clearer and more transparent industry.”

Notes to Editors

To speak to either James Daley or Adrian Coles, please email media@fairerfinance.com.

Adrian Coles was Director-General of the Building Societies Association between 1993 and 2013. He has served on many boards and committees in the mutual and housing association sectors. He is currently a non-executive director and chairman of the conduct risk committee at the Progressive Building Society (in Belfast), a member of the Financial Services Commission (in Gibraltar), senior independent director at the Reclaim Fund Ltd (which forwards dormant bank and building society account monies to charity, while ensuring sufficient funds remain to meet reclaims from account holders no longer dormant) and chairman of Housing Securities Ltd, a housing association borrowing "club". He is also a trustee of two pension schemes.