Loretta Minghella, chief executive of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2010 New Year Honours list.
She was given the title in recognition of her contribution to the financial services sector, including during her five year tenure as head of the FSCS.
Minghella announced last year she would be stepping down from the role this Spring but is staying on as a special adviser to the organisation until the end of August.
Commenting on her departure, FSCS chairman David Hall said: "Loretta has steered the organisation skilfully through extraordinary times, overseeing the delivery of over £21bn of compensation in a number of innovative ways."
Minghella said she believed it was time for a new challenge, adding: "The organization is only eight years old and yet it has already achieved an enormous amount, compensating over three million consumers and playing an increasingly important role in supporting financial stability."
However, her contribution to financial services regulation goes back much further than her time at the FSCS.
Minghella, whose late brother was award-winning film director Anthony Minghella, became a criminal defence lawyer after leaving university. She showed an interest in regulation after joining the Department of Trade and Industry in 1989 and then joined the FSA's forerunner the Securities and Investments Board (SIB) in 1990 to work on the retail side and in enforcement.
Over the next few years she worked her way up to become head of enforcement law policy at the FSA before joining the FSCS.
Her tenure at the FSCS has not been without its difficulties, including how to cope with rising costs driven by the collapse of firms such as Keydata and structured products backed by Lehman Brothers last year.
Despite Minghella’s success, commendations were few and far between for the financial services industry in the New Year Honours list as the backlash against the City continues.
Exceptions were Dyfrig John, recently retired CEO of HSBC – a bank that did not need taxpayer rescue, who received a CBE. Paul Spencer, lately chairman of NS&I, also was awarded a CBE.
Instead, plaudits went to the Arts and Sport with notable winners including veteran actor Patrick Stewart who received a knighthood and Formula One champion Jenson Button who got an MBE.
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