Dame Colette Bowe has been appointed to the role of Chairman of the Banking Standards Review Council (BSRC), the new body charged with promoting high standards across banks and building societies in the UK.

The appointment follows a process involving an independent selection panel chaired by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, and comprising the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Baroness Onora O’Neill, the philosopher and crossbench member of the House of Lords and Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.

Sir Richard Lambert, the interim chairman who was asked by the banking industry to set up the new standards organisation, said:

“I am very pleased to be passing the baton to Colette Bowe. She gets things done and I could not imagine anyone better qualified to take on this important and worthwhile job.”

Dame Colette Bowe
Dame Colette Bowe

Dame Colette was most recently chairman of Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, and of Electra Private Equity plc. She has experience both working inside the financial industry and as a financial regulator as the first chief executive of the Personal Investment Authority.


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One of her first jobs at the BSRC will be to appoint a Chief Executive and to take forward the process of getting formal sign up to the new organisation from banks and building societies.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, said:

“I am delighted that Colette has agreed to become the first chairman of the Banking Standards Review Council. Colette not only has a deep understanding of financial services regulation, but also a proven track record of improving standards of safety, fairness and integrity across a range of industries. I wish her every success in bringing that experience to the UK banking sector.”

Dame Colette said:

“This is a very big challenge but I am confident that we are all ready to give it our best shot. I certainly am and will press on with setting up the BSRC as fast as possible.”

The BSRC was set up with the support of the UK’s six largest banks and biggest building society and will be responsible for setting standards for culture, competence and customer outcomes. Funded by the industry, it will publish an annual report showing the progress banks have made and where they are falling down. It will aim to publish an initial report on the state of banking standards and good practice in the first half of next year.

Dame Colette will take up her role at the BSRC on 1st November.