Mike O’Connor will leave StepChange Debt Charity later this year after leading the organisation as Chief Executive since 2013. As the UK’s largest debt advice charity, the number of people in contact for help each year has grown over the last five years by 62% to 600,000. The charity also tackles the causes of problem debt by campaigning for changes in public policy and private sector practice to prevent people falling into problem debt.

Mike O’Connor said “It has been a privilege to lead Step Change Debt Charity and its 1,500 excellent staff. We have helped many people in desperate need and last year we supported our clients to reduce their debts by more than £500m. We have also helped secure changes in public policy including restrictions on payday lending, more help for savers and now both the Conservative and Labour parties have made a manifesto commitment to implementing our proposals for a breathing space scheme to support people to deal with problem debt. More needs to be done and the demand for free debt advice will continue to outstrip supply. We have now launched a major transformation programme to enable us to provide an even better service and to help more people in need.”

Sir Hector Sants, Chairman of StepChange Debt Charity said “I would like to thank Mike for his outstanding contribution to the development of the charity. He will be leaving the organisation in a far stronger position and has made a difference to the lives of many people.” The process of recruiting a successor is now underway and is likely to take until the end of the year and Mike O’ Connor will be staying until then. The search for a new Chief Executive is being led by Saxton Bampfylde.