Who are the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking?
Who are we?
The APPG is a cross-party group with members from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. In the current Parliament the co-Chairs are Kevin Hollinrake MP (CON) and William Wragg MP (CON). The Vice Chairs are Lord Cromwell, The Earl of Lindsay, Lisa Cameron MP (SNP), Sammy Wilson MP (DUP), Luke Graham MP (CON), Stephen Kerr MP (CON), Jim Fitzpatrick MP (LAB), Tonia Antoniazzi MP (LAB) and Chris Stephens MP (SNP). The APPG is run by its secretariat, Athena Foundation, a non-profit company limited by guarantee.
The APPG was originally founded in 2012 by Guto Bebb MP (CON) as the APPG on Interest Rate Swap Mis-selling. It brought the plight of businesses mis-sold these complex products to the attention of Parliament and the financial regulator, and was instrumental in triggering the FCA Review into their mis-selling.
The remit of the APPG was subsequently expanded to that of Fair Business Banking in recognition of the wide range of problems which persist between private businesses and their finance providers. Since then, it has held three more debates in the Commons, set up an inquiry into dispute resolution, established the Contracts Working Group and has intervened over the mistreatment of customers by RBS’ Global Restructuring Group and HBOS Reading.
Officers of the APPG on Fair Business Banking
Executive Director, Policy & Strategy
Heather Buchanan is the Director of Policy for the APPG on Fair Business Banking. She is the lead on commercial finance for the Transparency Task Force’s (TTF) Banking Team and is a member of the panel of TTF’s Financial Stability Team. Heather was on the Steering Committee of the BankingFutures project and is a member of the UK Finance SME Advisory Group. She has also contributed to the Lending Standards Board Standards of Lending Practice for Business Customers, and regularly advises MPs, peers, Government departments, regulators, trade bodies and civil society on the commercial relationships between businesses and their lenders.
Michelle Thomson is an Ambassador for the APPG on Fair Business Banking. Her extensive experience delivering change in various financial services companies saw her appointed by the APPG to lead the Contracts Working Group. She is a former Vice-Chair of the APPG and was prominent in speaking about related issues in her work in Parliament and on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee. She now runs the research and consultancy company Momentous Change Ltd and writes and presents for a number of banking and financial groups.
Director of Communications
Fiona Sherriff is Director of Communications. After careers in medical research and the pharmaceutical industry, Fiona’s current business interests include residential and commercial property. She has been working for fairer business banking since 2012.
Director of Research
Jackie Roberts is Director of Research. Jackie’s background is in residential property. She has extensive knowledge of UK banking regulation and has been actively involved in helping to resolve business lending disputes since 2012.
Senior Policy Adviser
James Ventress is the Senior Policy Adviser for the APPG. His background is in Economics and International Development, with a close interest in the political economy of development and the role of finance in development.
Eddie Feddon is the Parliamentary Researcher for the APPG on placement from the University of Bath. He is currently studying Politics and International Relations, with a close interest in current affairs and foreign relations.
The Athena Foundation
The APPG on Fair Business Banking is managed by its secretariat, the Athena Foundation. The Directors of the Athena Foundation are Heather Buchanan, Fiona Sheriff and Jackie Roberts.
Support our work
As the APPG gains yet more traction, it is imperative that we are able to raise sponsorship to build on our already substantial progress. To that end, we are inviting donations to support our work. Please find below a link for donations, which can be ‘one off’ or on a monthly basis. We recommend a minimum donation of £250 per annum.
Any donations will be recorded publicly in our register of interests.