If all the little announcements that Linked in gives us, the one that’s given me most pleasure is that Chris Pond has been promoted to Chair the Financial Inclusion Commission. For those who don’t know the Commission, this is what it has to say of itself
The Commission is an independent body of cross-party parliamentarians and policy experts which aims to make financial inclusion a national priority. It seeks to explore the measures most urgently needed to extend access to financial services to those currently excluded, and to gain support from all major UK political parties so that its recommendations may be meaningfully integrated into their election manifestos.
Words that come to mind when thinking of Chris include, ‘gentle’, ‘considered’ ‘funny’ and ‘wise’, he has empathic skills that make for inclusion and this is why Chris can also claim key roles as Chair of the Lending Standards Boar, Chair of the Equity Release council and a member of Tech Nation’s Fintech Delivery Panel as well as governing numerous charities.
Between 1993 and 2005 Chris was an MP and for a time a secretary of state in the DWP. He also spent time in the Treasury and is widely respected across parties as being on the side of the ordinary person. Inclusive, non-partisan and compassionate, he is precisely the person who we need driving policy right now.
It matters that as we go through and come through the crisis caused by the pandemic, we keep as many people solvent as we can. Our well-being is tied up with our solvency and the consequences of financial failure are typically linked to a deterioration of mental and physical health. In extreme circumstances , as we are seeing in America, the consequences extend as far as civil strife.
Chris is someone who bridges the striving world of financial innovators with a concern for those who are marginalized by financial services. For me he represents a mentor and inspiration and I am very pleased his hand is strengthened by moving into the Commission’s Chair.