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Consumer panel

The Registry Trust Consumer Panel was established in 2009, formalising the commitment to work in the interests of consumers. In 1985 the National Consumer Council had played a major role in persuading the government to hand over responsibility to a trust.

Our consumers are the individuals and small businesses who are existing or potential Registry Trust data subjects or who use our services. The Panel provides internal advice and external support to Registry Trust, working collaboratively to help the Trust operate in the broad consumer interest.

The Panel supports Registry Trust in maintaining a close alignment between the company’s activities and the interests of its consumer base, and more widely to promote and protect the interests of consumers in the collection, dissemination and use of public financial information in the UK economy.

This twin purpose aids Registry Trust in promoting responsible lending and responsible borrowing as a part of its core contribution to a responsible credit market.

A more detailed statement of the purpose, governance and responsibilities of the Panel is contained in its terms of reference.

Panel members

The chairman, Ron Gainsford OBE, joined the Trading Standards Institute as its chief executive in February 2002, retiring in 2013 when he was appointed a vice president. He welcomed and enjoyed the opportunity to help lead the trading standards profession, the Institute and its not for profit companies after spending a decade at the heart of local government’s national and international coordinating machinery. His professional background is in trading standards and local government with broad experience in local authorities and in UK, EU and international regulation of trading standards and associated consumer protection issues. Ron was made a Fellow of the Institute in 1999 for his services to trading standards and awarded the OBE in 2010 for services to consumers and to business. He has served as a consumer director of Registry Trust, and is now a member of the company.

Mick McAteer is an influential, independent consumer representative. He is founder and director of The Financial Inclusion Centre, a UK based not for profit think tank. The Centre’s mission is to promote efficient and accountable financial markets, and access to fair and affordable financial services. He is a non executive director of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and chairs its External Risk and Strategy Committee. He chairs the European Commission’s Financial Services Users Group (FSUG), is a trustee of ShareAction, and is on the CARITAS Advisory Board.

Frances Harrison is a member of the Legal Services consumer panel, a former member of the Financial Services Authority consumer panel, vice chair of the Brighton and Hove Citizens Advice Bureau and a policy adviser to the training organisation, Developing Youth Practice. She is a member of the Finance and Leasing Association’s Lending Code Group. Frances has worked for the National Consumer Council as Head of Policy Research and Development, the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux as a specialist support officer and local authorities where she has managed consumer advice services. She chaired Consumer Congress and the Institute of Consumer Affairs and has represented consumers on government working groups.

Teresa Perchard is an ad hoc adviser to the Panel. She is a board member of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation; a board director of Smart Energy GB; a member of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers; and a director of the Personal Finance Society. Teresa was Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens Advice for 13 years until June 2013.