I was so sorry to gather, after less than three years in the role, Angela Knight is to stand down as chief executive of Energy UK.
When Angela Knight was appointed, there were lots of jokes – mostly made by me – that she was moving over from running the British Bankers Association because she wanted to represent a marginally less unpopular industry. So perhaps it is to her credit that recent polls have found the Big Six are now even more distrusted that the high street banks.
So who is to succeed her? Well, I have found somebody absolutely perfectly qualified to do so. Russell Hamblin-Boone was previously the director of corporate affairs for the Energy Retailers Association, right up until the time it morphed into the Energy UK organisation. Subsequently he has found very pertinent employment. He is now the chief executive of the Consumer Finance Association. And upon whose behalf does this pleasant sounding Association speak? If I tell you that amongst its main members are key High Street names like Money Shop, Quick Quid and Wonga, you will quickly work out that the estimable Mr. H-B currently speaks for the payday loan industry. These are companies that still outweigh even the Big Six in public detestation. Given this pedigree, he should be a shoo-in as Knight¹s replacement.
Linda and Nigel Brotherton live in a three bedroom semi-detached 1990s house in Burnley, Lancashire. Their electricity consumption has always been pretty frugal.
But this summer they received notification from their supplier, nPower (a subsidiary of the German loss-making monolith, RWE). It told them they were increasing their quarterly direct debit, which had been a commendably low £87. The new charge was to be £53,000,000. And the Brothertons need not respond. It would be debited automatically.