The Financial Ombudsman Service has appointed Abby Thomas as the chief executive and chief ombudsman.

Thomas, 43, will take up her new role in the Autumn. She will replace Nausicaa Delfas, who has been acting as chief executive and chief ombudsman on an interim basis since May 2021.

FOS chair Baroness Manzoor CBE said: “I would like to thank Nausicaa Delfas for the leadership she has provided to the organisation over the past year as our interim chief executive and chief ombudsman, during a period of significant challenge; she has made significant changes.

“We are now better prepared to deliver our ambitious strategy for service improvement and operational excellence. I am delighted that she has agreed to continue her secondment until the autumn.”

Thomas currently works for Virgin Media O2.  Her roles have included leading Virgin Media consumer operations, with responsibility for service call centres, field force and supply chain leadership.

More recently, she has been leading Virgin Media O2’s flagship B2B Transformation programme.

Manzoor said that Thomas would bring “a wealth of experience” in top executive roles in high-pressured, customer-facing organisations.

She added: “Her passion for delivering great service to all our customers, and connection to our mission of delivering fair and impartial decisions on complaints, was evident throughout this recruitment process.

“Within the Financial Ombudsman Service, we have great, committed people. We are giving them more of the tools that they need to provide a better, quicker service to consumers and financial businesses.

“Maximising the use of our technology, embedding better ways of working, and fully engaging our people in change, are among the challenges that this organisation is rising to. Abby’s passion, experience and leadership will be crucial to this effort.”

Thomas stressed the critical role of FOS for the effective functioning of the British economy. She said that it has never been “more important than it is today”.

She added: “This is because at times of economic turbulence, it helps to maintain consumer confidence in financial markets.

“That is why I’m excited and honoured to have the opportunity to lead the organisation and support consumers and financial services to get fair, timely and effective resolutions to complaints.”