Our expert Advisory Group supports the Fellows with project guidance, helps shape the programme’s policy engagement work, and champions the programme.
Diane Burridge, CEO, Moneyline
Moneyline is a social business with a mission to address the small sum saving and borrowing needs of the 13 million lowest income households in the UK. Diane joined Moneyline in 2003 and has been instrumental in realising the social vision of Moneyline by providing the operational expertise and platform to reach an ever-increasing customer base. Since taking over the CEO role in 2013, Diane has undertaken an overhaul of the business model, delivering sustainability whilst maintaining an overarching commitment to financial inclusion.
In 2012 she completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, followed by a scholarship in 2013 to attend Harvard Business School to complete their Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management program, including a study tour of US credit unions and microcredit lenders. Diane has extensive sector knowledge and has been a member of various advisory groups on social enterprise lending and the availability of affordable credit for the financially excluded, including working with JP Morgan, the Centre for Social Justice and the Cabinet Office.
Damon Gibbons, Director, Centre for Responsible Credit
Damon is the Director of the Centre for Responsible Credit, a dedicated policy unit focused on credit regulation, over-indebtedness, and financial inclusion issues within the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI).
Damon has more than twenty years’ experience of designing, providing, and evaluating services to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups and communities. He has been involved in consumer campaigns both nationally and internationally for well over a decade, particularly campaigns for caps on the cost of credit and greater responsible lending requirements. He has worked closely with Paul Blomfield MP and Stella Creasy MP to secure regulatory changes, including the recent cap on payday lenders. His book Britain’s personal debt crisis: how we got here and what to do about it detailing 15 years of campaigning activity, was published by Searching Finance.
Damon has previously been employed as the Head of Policy and Partnership at CESI, in which capacity he supported the Tackling Worklessness Review team commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Communities and Local Government and led by Cllr Stephen Houghton, CBE.
Prior to joining CESI, Damon worked in local government with responsibilities for advice and economic development services. His initial career was spent as a money and welfare rights adviser in the voluntary sector during which time he served as an Executive Committee member and press officer for the Money Advice Association.
Thom Kenrick, Head of Community Programmes, RBS
Thom leads the RBS’s strategy for supporting and engaging with its communities through customer-facing brands, including NatWest and The Royal Bank of Scotland, focussing on key themes (financial capability and supporting enterprise) that are important to the bank and its stakeholders.
Thom’s team lead and deliver the bank’s large-scale community programmes and partnerships, as well as leading and coordinating RBS’s staff and customer-facing giving, fundraising and volunteering. Prior to joining RBS, Thom worked for Unilever on supply chain projects in various parts of the world. He is a Fellow of the RSA and a Board Trustee for RBS Social & Community Capital and the Coutts Foundation.
Simon Read is a money writer and broadcaster. He was personal finance editor at The Independent for seven years until its closure, and has since appeared as a money expert in two series of BBC1’s Right On The Money (July 2016 and July 2017) and presented a documentary for BBC Radio 4 on fraud.
He is the Fight For Your Rights columnist for Moneywise Magazine and writes regularly about finance and business for BBC News online, The Daily Mirror, The Evening Standard and Spectator Money, as well as contributing money blogs to several websites.
Simon Thompson, Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute
Simon was appointed as Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute, the oldest institute of bankers in the world, in 2007. Before joining the Institute, Simon was responsible for managing the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB), developing ethics and education standards for accountants worldwide. He previously worked for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), establishing ACCA in Central & Eastern Europe.
Simon was recently appointed as the first Chair of the Global Banking Education Standards Committee, and is a past Vice-President of the European Bank Training Network. He is a lay member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Simon holds a BA (Politics and Economics) from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (FCIBS), and a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (MCIPD). In 2014, Simon was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by BPP University in recognition of his contribution to professional education.
Sian Williams, Head of National Services, Toynbee Hall
Sian is Director of the Financial Health Exchange at Toynbee Hall in London’s East End, where she leads a programme aimed at making money work better for people. This includes supporting organisations to understand their own impact on the financial health of their service users, as well as making financial products and services more inclusive, and developing effective financial capability interventions.
Innovations include a financial health needs and impact measurement tool, MAPT, a highly effective community peer Money Mentor programme, and research to address significant access gaps, including on the cash and electronic payment needs of consumers and the impact on low-income households of the lack of access to a free-to-use ATM.
Sian sits on a range of industry advisory groups, is a Financial Inclusion Commissioner and a member of the Payment Systems Regulator’s Panel, chairs the Payments Strategy Forum End User Needs Working Group and is a Trustee for the Money Advice Trust. Prior to joining Toynbee Hall, Sian had a 15-year career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
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