Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : The Student Loans Company appoints new CEO [October 2022]

The press release issued by the Department for Education on 12 October 2022.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has appointed Chris Larmer as its new Chief Executive. Currently Executive Director, Operations, he will replace Paula Sussex, who leaves the organisation at the end of the year.

SLC has undertaken a significant transformation programme to implement more modern, customer-focused processes and systems to better serve its eight million customers. This has improved the overall health of the organisation while navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, delivering student finance to record numbers of students. SLC will continue to deliver towards its vision of enabling opportunity and delivering an outstanding customer experience while also playing its critical role in the delivery of the UK Government’s education reforms, including the new Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE).

Chris has been instrumental in leading the Operations Directorate through the last 18 months, and his leadership and operational experience will be key for the organisation when he becomes CEO.

Peter Lauener, SLC Chair, said: “Chris joined our organisation in May 2021 and has played a central role in establishing new structures and leadership in our Operations Directorate, while successfully leading us through two challenging student finance applications cycles. Chris has a wealth of business and transformation experience, ensuring he is the right person to continue to deliver our strategy and build on our successes. He has a real commitment to putting customers and colleagues at the heart of SLC, which will be critical as we move forward.”

Chris has spent more than 30 years in the financial services sector. He joined SLC from the Co-operative Bank where he was Director of Customer and Strategy and previous to this, he was Director of Customer Experience at Barclays. Chris has also held senior roles with Virgin Money, Tesco Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Chris said: “I am honoured to have been appointed SLC’s next CEO and to be given the opportunity to lead such an important organisation. SLC has an inspiring vision and mission – we make a real difference to the lives of our customers and to the future prosperity of the UK economy.

“Paula has done an exceptional job in driving SLC forward in our transformation journey and we are a better organisation because of her leadership. I look forward to continuing this work as we strive to deliver an outstanding customer experience to our eight million customers.”

SLC underwent a competitive recruitment process which involved input from a colleague panel as well as receiving approval from the new Secretary of State for Education, Kit Malthouse. It’s the first time SLC has recruited from within the organisation to the post of Chief Executive.

Andrea Jenkyns, Minister for Skills, said: “Our world-class higher education system wouldn’t be possible without the work of the Student Loans Company, which provides a critical service to the UK’s students and graduates, enabling opportunity and supporting their education ambitions.

“Chris Larmer’s appointment as the new Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company is fantastic news – not only because of his impressive business accolades but for the leadership he has provided to the SLC in the past 18 months in the Operations Directorate. I cannot wait to start working with him for the benefit of students up and down the country.”