The Financial Conduct Authority has appointed two new chairs to the financial services consumer panel and the smaller business practitioner panel.
Helen Charlton, who will succeed Wanda Goldwag, has been appointed as chair of the financial services consumer panel, while Andy Mielczarek, who will take over from Marlene Shiels, will chair the FCA smaller business practitioner panel.
The FCA said the two panels are independent and represent the interests of consumers and those who work in small or medium-sized financial services companies.
The role of them is to advise and challenge the regulator as it develops policy and its regulatory approach.
Charlton currently holds three roles: chair at the British Gas Energy Trust, non-executive director on the board of the Retail Energy Code Company; and a commitment with The Henry Smith Charity which provides grants to reduce social and economic disadvantage.
She also served as a member of the customer challenge group for Thames Water and a consumer advocate at the Consumer Council for Water.
Charlton said: “The panel has such an important role in representing the interests of consumers in the financial services sector. This is particularly pertinent now, when consumers are under pressure due to the cost of living.
“And within the financial services sector, there are important developments such as the FCA's new consumer duty and the challenges and opportunities posed by new technologies. I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve as chair of the financial services consumer panel, and at such a critical juncture."
Mielczarek is the founder and chief executive officer of digital bank Chetwood Financial.
Prior to this, he worked at HSBC for a number of years in various roles across product and proposition, latterly as head of distribution. Before HSBC, he was also chief financial officer of Marks and Spencer Bank.
He said: “I am delighted to take on the role as chair of the FCA smaller business practitioner panel. The vast majority of FCA regulated firms are smaller businesses, and the panel plays a vital role in connecting those firms with the FCA to maintain a constructive dialogue with our regulator and make sure that regulation is fair and effective.
“With the challenges that we expect in the economy over the coming months, this dialogue will be more important than ever to make sure that we are able to respond in the best way to any challenges that arise. I look forward to continuing the work of the panel to help the FCA meet its strategic objectives.”
Both Charlton and Mielczarek will take up their roles on June 1, 2022 for a three-year term.
The FCA said the roles were filled following open recruitment.
FCA chair Charles Randell, said: “Wanda and Marlene have made a significant contribution as the FCA responded at speed to the pandemic, helped markets navigate the UK’s departure from the EU and as we transformed as an organisation. I am incredibly grateful for their advice.