Baroness Zahida Manzoor (pictured) has been appointed chairwoman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, replacing Sir Nicholas Montagu, who is stepping down after more than seven years in the post.
Baroness Manzoor, who was appointed to the House of Lords in 2013, served as House of Lords government whip and minister between March 2018 and May 2019, and will take on her new role on August 2, 2019.
Before joining the Lords, she spent 20 years at board level within large complaints organisations. She served as The Legal Services Ombudsman for England and Wales and The Legal Services Complaints Commissioner.
Baroness Manzoor’s appointment was made by the Financial Conduct Authority board with the approval of HM Treasury.
Charles Randell, the FCA's chairman, noted that the Fos "fulfils an essential role in delivering a fair system for resolving disputes between consumers or small businesses and financial firms".
He added: "[Baroness] Zahida [Manzoor] 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."
Baroness Manzoor noted that her new role followed a career dedicated to public service and ensuring fair treatment in people’s everyday lives.
She said: "I very much see that continuing with the ombudsman service."
She stated that it’s vital the Fos maintains "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 noted that the Fos was a very different organisation from the one he joined seven years ago, and that "change is a continuing theme".
He added: "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.
"[Baroness] Zahida [Manzoor] is ideally placed to lead both that change and our future achievements and I wish her well in doing so."
The Fos board members are non-executive, which means they have no involvement in individual complaints.
Their job is to ensure that the ombudsman service is properly resourced and is able to carry out its work effectively and independently.
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