Paul Horlock has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the UK’s new payment system operator, which has been established to develop the capability and capacity of the UK’s retail payment systems, which between them process over £6.4 trillion pounds of payments every year. Horlock has worked in the banking sector for over 15 years,

The creation of the new payment system operator involves the consolidation of Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), Faster Payments Scheme Limited (FPSL), and the Image Clearing System (ICS), which will replace the paper processing system for cheques currently managed by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC).  As a single entity, the new payment system operator will build on the achievements and successes of the existing payment schemes and progress their well-defined strategies for the benefit of the UK economy.  In addition, taking an over-arching view of the retail payments sector will enable the new payment system operator to deliver greater efficiency, more innovation and fair and equal access to payments and the infrastructure that facilitates them.

Paul Horlock said “I am thrilled to be asked to take up the role of CEO for the new payments system operator. Taking up the role of Chief Executive of a company that is a vital part of this country’s financial infrastructure is a huge privilege and I look forward to helping to shape its future, whilst ensuring that all parts of society benefit from having a robust and dynamic payments platform in place. This is one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities; the combination of acceleration in consumer expectation, with the chance to pull together experts in their field and the mandate to project from a resilient, world-leading capability to deliver the future of the UK’s payments industry.”

“I am particularly looking forward to working hand-in-hand with the gamut of payment system users, big and small, in order to deliver a payment system for the UK that enables competition to thrive whilst providing the foundation for innovation to flourish. I can’t wait to work with the team and collaborate with the wider stakeholders in the market to pursue the mission of a globally-competitive payments industry.”

Melanie Johnson, who was appointed as independent Chair of the new payment system operator on 7 August, led the selection process, which was run on an open basis by independent executive recruitment consultants. Of the appointment, Melanie Johnson said “We are delighted to have been able to secure the appointment of Paul Horlock as the Chief Executive of the new payment system operator. Paul is a highly-respected figure amongst the payments industry and his strong track record and leadership expertise will help ensure that we are well-placed to deliver the necessary outcomes that can make the UK’s payments industry the envy of the world.  Paul is going to play a crucial role in leading the new payment system operator through this important period, especially given his breadth of experience in successfully delivering change whilst remaining focused on maintaining excellent service delivery.”