Walter Merricks and Caroline Barr have joined Fairer Finance’s Consumer Advisory Board, replacing Otto Thoresen and Paul Pester, who stepped down in 2022.

Sue Lewis, who has been a member of the CAB since 2019, has been appointed Chair of the board.

Fairer Finance’s Consumer Advisory Board scrutinises the business’s research and consultancy work, to ensure the company’s commercial interests do not undermine its independence. The board meets five times a year to monitor information that helps it make this judgement. In preparation for its annual report the CAB also interviews Fairer Finance’s executive team.

Walter is another respected addition to the board, bringing over 50 years of experience working in the legal and financial services sectors. He was the inaugural head of the Financial Ombudsman Service between 1999 and 2009. Other roles have included Commissioner for the Gambling Commission, Chair of the independent press regulator Impress and a member of the Civil Aviation Authority’s Consumer Panel. Since 2016, he has been the class representative in a £14bn competition action against Mastercard. He was awarded a CBE in 2007 for services to the financial services industry.

Caroline Barr has almost 30 years’ experience working in financial services and government. She has worked for Lloyds Bank, as a deputy director in HM Treasury and as a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel. In recent years, she has built a portfolio of non-executive roles and currently sits on the boards of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, the Business Banking Resolution Service, and Blackrock Life. She chairs the insurance industry’s Access to Insurance Committee, and BlackRock Life’s Investment Policy Committee.

Sue joined the CAB in 2019, and takes over as Chair from Paul Pester. Paul stepped down in 2022 after taking up the role of Chair at Tandem Bank.

Commenting on the appointments, Sue Lewis said: “Walter and Caroline bring a wealth of new experience to the Consumer Advisory Board, and will leave us even better equipped to fulfil our role as a critical friend to Fairer Finance. The need for a strong consumer voice in financial services has never been greater, and we’re delighted to be supporting Fairer Finance in its mission to create a market that is fair both for consumers as well as the businesses that serve them.”

James Daley, managing director of Fairer Finance, said: “The Consumer Advisory Board has always been central to Fairer Finance’s credibility – helping us to manage conflicts of interest, and keep them out in the open. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a respected and talented group of people on the board – and I know Walter and Caroline will be excellent additions to an already high quality team.”

Notes to Editors

To speak to James Daley, managing director of Fairer Finance, or Sue Lewis, Walter Merricks or Caroline Barr, please send an email to or call on 020 3026 8542.

Fairer Finance was established in 2014 with a mission to create a fairer financial services market for both consumers, and the businesses that serve them. It publishes ratings across 20 different financial services sectors, and regularly publishes policy papers and liaises with regulators and governments in pursuit of its mission. It also supports firms who want its help and expertise to do better.

The other members of the Consumer Advisory Board are Laurie Edmans and Helene Brichet.