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Lloyds digital chief Louise Smith takes over as Innovate Finance chair

Departing chair Natalie Ceeney will step down from the role on 9 July.

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Louise Smith/RBS.

With new Innovate Finance CEO Janine Hirt taking over the reins earlier this month, the UK Fintech industry body is also refreshing its board with a new chair.

Louise Smith, Lloyds’ chief digital officer since February 2020, has been appointed as the group’s new incoming chair, due to take up the post from 9 July.

“The sector is maturing at a rapid rate and there is significant momentum following the Kalifa Review, with renewed support from government, industry and the wider community to fuel further financial innovation across the country,” said Smith on her appointment.

As well as her work at Lloyds, Smith also a regional FinTech ambassador, appointed by the UK Government, and previously worked at RBS where she led the digitisation of the bank’s personal and business banking and was head of intelligent automation.

“Having been closely involved with the growth and evolution of financial services through my executive career, I’m excited to continue supporting the innovators and entrepreneurs transforming the sector to better deliver for businesses and consumers alike,” Smith added.

She’ll take over from Natalie Ceeney CBE, who’s been chairing Innovate Finance since 2017, overseeing the group’s development under former CEO Charlotte Crosswell.

“It has been a wonderful four years serving as Chair of Innovate Finance, and I’m hugely proud of what we have achieved as a team,” said Ceeney.

“It’s been encouraging to see both Innovate Finance and the FinTech sector mature and grow from strength to strength, and I’m pleased to be leaving the organisation in Louise and Janine’s capable hands.”

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