5th February 2021

New Motor Ombudsman Chair

The automotive dispute resolution body has appointed Ron Gainsford OBE as Chair of its Board of Directors.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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Former CTSI Chief Executive Ron Gainsford OBE has been appointed Chair of the Motor Ombudsman.

Gainsford has served on the Motor Ombudsman’s Board – and that of its predecessor, Motor Codes – as a Non-Executive Director since 2013. He succeeds outgoing Chair Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Ron Gainsford OBE

Gainsford’s career in consumer protection spans more than 40 years, during which he has held several high-profile positions, including representing UK interests on European enforcement and influencing groups, and advising governments on public protection and market surveillance issues. He remains Vice-President of CTSI.

He was awarded an OBE in the 2010 Queen’s birthday Honours List in recognition of his services to consumers and business.

Gainsford will be responsible for leading The Motor Ombudsman Board, ensuring that it meets its statutory and corporate obligations, whilst also overseeing the effectiveness and impartiality of its decision-making.

The Motor Ombudsman is the first voluntary and fully impartial private sector ombudsman for the automotive sector, providing a self-regulatory environment for the industry using its CTSI-approved Motor Industry Codes of Practice.

Gainsford commented: “I am very proud to have been given the prestigious role of Chair of the Board of Directors. After having been a member of the Board since the Ombudsman was founded, and Motor Codes prior to that, it was perhaps a natural progression to now lead the team of which I have long been part. I am excited to be embarking on this new chapter in my work with The Motor Ombudsman, and to help the organisation achieve its short and longer-term objectives.

“I’ve been involved with The Motor Ombudsman for many years now and have been impressed with the way it and the motor industry have so progressively responded to maturing its important relationship with its customers and delivering such a robust suite of consumer protection measures.

“Trading Standards and CTSI have been key partners and drivers in changing the dynamics within the sector. As a result the industry Codes of Practice and Ombudsman adjudication services are leading the sector to a better future for all. New products, economic and environmental changes are a challenge, as are the government’s ambitions for ADR. I’m confident The Motor Ombudsman will continue to work enthusiastically with CTSI and others in response.”

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “Ron brings unrivalled and relevant experience to our organisation, and has been a highly valued member of our Board for many years. It was a unanimous decision to appoint Ron to this position, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him.”