Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industry, has appointed Chris Leslie as chief executive with effect from 1 August. A former MP, Minister and Shadow Minister with proven knowledge of public policy, parliamentary affairs, financial services regulation and consumer credit, he succeeds Peter Wallwork, who announced in December 2019 that he would be stepping down after ten years in the role.
Chris Leslie was MP for Shipley from 1997 to 2005 and for Nottingham East from 2010 to 2019.
Between 2001 and 2003 he was a Minister successively in the Cabinet Office and the Department for Local Government and the Regions; and from 2003 to 2005 he was Minister for Courts and Constitutional Affairs.
Between 2011 and 2015 he was a member of the Opposition Treasury team, as Shadow City Minister/Financial Secretary to the Treasury in the period during which the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority were set up, as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.
From 2005 to 2010, Chris was Director of the member organisation New Local Government Network, the leading local authority research and policy think-tank. During the same time, he was also a trustee of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service advice charity (now StepChange) and Credit Action (now the Money Charity).
Welcoming Chris as the new Chief Executive, CSA Board Chair Tom Chandos said: “I am delighted that the CSA’s new chief executive will be Chris Leslie, with his deep knowledge of public policy, parliamentary affairs, financial services regulation and consumer credit. He is the ideal person to build on the progress that the Association has made during the ten years under Peter Wallwork’s leadership, for which the Board is deeply grateful.”
Chris Leslie added: “Having been closely involved in financial services policy over recent years, I’m very much looking forward to my new role leading the CSA team, representing such a wide range of businesses and championing best practice across the collections and debt purchase industry. Credit is a crucial utility in today’s economy and safeguarding a fair and well-functioning market is more important than ever in these challenging times.”
The appointment has been made following a process advised by an independent search firm and led by a selection panel of the CSA Board comprising both elected, industry practitioner and independent board members.