Marlene Shiels is one of the best known and most respected figures in the UK credit union and wider financial inclusion sector. She helped found Edinburgh based Capital Credit Union in 1989, and has been Chief Executive since 2001, turning it into one of the biggest credit unions in the UK.
Marlene’s professional goal is to ensure a fair financial system, especially for those with fewer financial choices. She is passionate about ensuring that everyone who needs a helping hand to improve their financial resilience and wellbeing, has the opportunity to do so. In 2017, she received the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) Lifetime achievement award from her peers. In 2016, Marlene was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List for services to financial services and financial inclusion.
In addition to her role as Capital CEO, Marlene is Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Smaller Business Practitioner Panel, the first woman to hold this position, and Chair of the Money and Pensions Advice Service (MaPS) Nation of Savers Challenge Group.
Previously, she was Chair of the Building Societies Workplace Savings Committee, and was one of the founders of the UK Credit Union Development Education Programme. She was on the board of Scottish StepChange: The Debt Charity between 2012 and 2015. Marlene was a Council Member of the Chartered Banker Institute between 2009 and 2015 – she was the first lay member of the Council and remains a Fellow of the Institute.
In 2013, Marlene became Advisor to HRH the Duchess of Cornwall in matters relating to Credit Unions and financial inclusion. In 2009, she was elected to serve for a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). She is the only British Person to hold a Board seat on WOCCU.