The New Payment System Operator appoints Chief Risk Officer

The New Payment System Operator (NPSO) has  announced the appointment of Geoff Close as Chief Risk Officer (CRO), as it moves closer to taking responsibility for the UK’s retail payment systems. Geoff, who is currently interim Chief Operating Officer (COO) and CRO at the NPSO, will take up the new permanent position on 3rd April 2018.

Paul Horlock, CEO of the NPSO, said: “Geoff has been invaluable to the NPSO in his interim role and will be an excellent Chief Risk Officer. I’m delighted that he is able to join us in our challenge to manage risks while enabling a vibrant UK economy for the benefit of everyone.” 

 Geoff has over 20 years of experience as a business and technology leader at major UK institutions. His experience has been gained in retail, commercial and institutional banking sectors with a particular focus on financial technology. He has previously held CRO roles at GE Capital and FIS, where he was also Chief Operating Officer. He is a well-known business and thought leader in financial technology innovation and solutions, with a proven history of driving industry and business growth using his cross-functional expertise across sales, operations, technology, finance and risk management.

Commenting on his appointment, Geoff Close said: “The NPSO aspires to be the industry leader for managing risk, reliability and resilience in relation to payments, standards and overlay services. We will satisfy the requirements of our regulators, delivering a robust payments infrastructure, creating a foundation of market standards and carefully managing an end-to-end governance model which can be easily adopted by the market.”

Geoff’s appointment is the third C-Suite position confirmed by the NPSO in recent weeks. In February it was announced that Matthew Hunt, currently COO for the Monetary Policy area at the Bank of England, will take on the role of the NPSO’s COO, while Jenny Crawford, currently Deputy CEO of UK Payments Administration Ltd (UKPA), has been appointed as Chief People Officer (CPO).

The NPSO will consolidate Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), Faster Payments Scheme Limited (FPSL), and the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company Limited (C&CCC) which incorporates the Image Clearing System (ICS) that will replace the paper processing system for cheques currently managed by C&CCC. These retail payment systems will be joined by UK Payments Administration Ltd (UKPA) which provides business services support to the payment system operators.

In addition, the NPSO will lead the delivery of the New Payments Architecture (NPA) having received the blueprint for the NPA in December 2017 from the Payments Strategy Forum (PSF), the body set up by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to bring the payments industry and users together.