PSR plans Managing Director recruitment drive after UK general election
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Chris Hensley is stepping down as Managing Director of the Payments Systems Regulator (PSR), ending a near five-year tenure in the role.

Hensley first joined the PSR in April 2019 as Co-Managing Director before taking on the full role in September. His tenure oversaw some significant moments in UK payments, beginning just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The subsequent lockdowns saw, as was in the case in many countries, an acceleration in the physical-to-digital payments transition. The regulator has also become more active in the areas of Open Banking and fraud prevention.

“I’d like to thank Chris for leading the PSR over the last five years,” said Aidene Walsh, Chair of the PSR.

“UK payments have seen significant changes during this period and throughout, Chris has led the PSR into driving effective change to make payments better for everyone. He has also transformed the organisation, increasing its impact, and leaves it in a strong position.”

The PSR is now awaiting final approval for the appointment of an interim Managing Director who will fill the role for between nine and 12 months. The regulator plans to begin recruiting for a permanent Managing Director after the UK general election on 4 July.

Both the governing Conservative Party and opposition Labour Party have been crafting policies around payments and financial technology. The Conservatives have been moving forward with Artificial Intelligence (AI) funding and development of a digital economy.

Meanwhile, Labour has also published policy documents noting the growing role of AI and Open Banking and playing in British finance and economy at large, observing particular potential for the latter technology.

Open Banking has become a key area for the PSR of late, with the regulator participating in the Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee (JROC) on Open Banking development. As noted above, fraud prevention is also a focus area for the regulator, which is introducing new rules on fraud reimbursement later this year.

The PSR confimed that upon vacating his role at the regulator, Hensley will take on a Director role at Fingleton, a strategic regulatory advisory firm.