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New standards body set to help industry deal with evolving market  

16 January 2018

Criterion, the newly formed industry body, has appointed four non-executive directors to the board, as it looks to help the industry deal with changes arising from the ongoing impact of the pensions freedoms, fintech innovation and implementation of the ambitions of government and the regulator.

The body is focussed on the development of sustainable standards and governance services that enable the movement of data and the automation of processes in the UK’s long-term savings, investment, pensions and protection markets.

The four non-executive directors are: Edward Glyn, managing director, global head of Relationship Management, Calastone, Paul Bailey, director of Technology, NEST, Billy Burnside head of Platform Development & E-Commerce at Aviva UK Insurance, and Ross Dunlop, head of Platform Proposition, Standard Life.

Criterion’s chairman Iain Duffin said the four non-execs “bring a wealth of experience from all reaches of the financial services industry – their collective knowledge and expertise will greatly support Criterion’s ambition and impact.” He added that there were likely to be further additions to the board shortly.

Caroline Mansley, managing director of Criterion (pictured), said the body would “continue driving forward on the fundamental standards and governance work required to ensure data movement and the automation of processes develop at sufficient pace – meeting the needs of an evolving financial services industry in a safe and secure manner.

She highlighted the effect of pensions freedoms on the industry, coupled with new innovative fintech solutions “poised to bring further dynamic change”, which she continued, demanded “a body like Criterion to be available to support the industry in managing that process, while keeping the end consumer front of mind.

“2018 will see Criterion continue to drive collaboration across the industry. Our energies and focus will be prioritised across a number of industry-wide activities, including pensions dashboard, distributed ledger technologies and improved pensions transfer and re-registrations.

“Ambitions defined by the government and the regulator can only be effectively implemented and deployed when standards are utilised: collaborative working doesn’t happen unless all parties are ‘talking the same language’. Criterion has the track record that shows we can make this happen.”

Paul Bailey, director of Technology, NEST says: “A wave of innovation from fintech start-up firms has the potential to transform financial services for all our customers. At the same time initiatives such as PSD2 are unlocking customer data, and customer engagement from established firms.  The definition and adoption of standards is a key ingredient in this mix.”

Edward Glyn, Managing Director, global head of Relationship Management, Calastone concurred that given the high levels of change industry “standards and governance are essential elements that will ultimately lead to increasing efficiency across the industry. We are a group of like-minded individuals who feel a deep duty of care to engage, innovate and address the increasing demand for greater transparency, and improved investment performance.”

Ross Dunlop, head of Platform Proposition, Standard Life, added that in an environment where exchanging data is becoming ever more important – including Pensions Dashboards and improving transfer and re-registration times – “the creation of Criterion to take forward our industry standards and governance provides a great opportunity for our whole industry to work together to the benefit of our customers.”

Criterion was formed by the industry in July 2017, as an independent, not-for-profit industry body for standards and governance, to take over and further develop the standards and governance work formerly carried out Origo.