Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

The Ombudsman is assisted by an Audit and Risk Assurance Committee in respect of the Accounting Officer aspects of the role. The committee is made up of four non-executive members and meets quarterly.

The committee members advise the Ombudsman on all activities, policies and procedures concerning governance, risk management and internal control.


Tim Leslie - Chair

Photograph of Tim Leslie

Tim is a Board Member of The Community Housing Group, a provider of social housing to the local communities around Kidderminster in the West Midlands, and is also a member of its Audit and Assurance Committee. He is also a Trustee of the Chester Diocesan Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust of primary schools.

Tim is a retired senior civil servant having held several positions at Ofqual, the exams regulator including its Director of Risk and Markets, Director of Strategic Reform during the reform of GCSEs and A levels, and Director of the National Reference Test. He has a broad background in regulation and risk management. Prior to joining Ofqual, he was Chief Executive and Director of Regulation at Standards for England, and also worked at the Financial Services Authority, supervising major banks.

Tim’s earlier career was in the private sector including Risk Director at Xansa plc, a business process and IT outsourcing company, and at NatWest in roles including Director of International Markets and Head of the Group’s Business Consultancy unit.

Tim Archer - Member

Board member

Tim is Lead Ombudsman and Director of Casework at the Financial Ombudsman Service and brings over 12 years of dispute resolution experience together with operational leadership from a parallel ombudsman service. Prior to joining the Financial Ombudsman Service, he held a variety of senior management roles at Barclays, where he worked for 13 years.

Tim has also previously been a member of the Finance and Development Committee of Tower Hamlets Community Housing, where he gained valuable insight into the running of a registered housing provider. He served as a local councillor on Tower Hamlets council for eight years, leading on a number of housing issues and was lead member for overview and scrutiny. Tim is currently a serving councillor on Reigate and Banstead Borough Council.

Christina Coker OBE - Member

Christina Coker OBE cropped image

Christina has extensive senior executive and non-executive experience of audit and risk assurance. Formerly Chair of the Audit & Risk Management Committee of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she currently serves on the Audit Committee of the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. 

Her career has included a variety of roles in local government and the third sector, specialising in education, culture, social care and regeneration. Ensuring fairness and transparency, and enabling support for the most disadvantaged have been consistent themes in her work.

During her 13 years as CEO of the National Foundation for Youth Music she worked effectively with government departments, non-departmental public bodies and sector organisations on policy and grant schemes. She also formed influential partnerships for improved service delivery.

In non-executive roles she continues to focus on corporate governance, organisational effectiveness and sector engagement.

Hiten Patel - Member

Hiten Patel, member of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

Hiten is Governance and Risk Director with an international technology organisation. He has also been a non-executive director for 20 years, working at board level, providing strategic, organisational, financial, and corporate direction. His experience covers governance, legal, compliance, people and culture, IT (digital and cybersecurity), QI (quality improvement), services, audit and risk management.

This has been across social housing, regulated, not-for-profit and third sector organisations. Hiten has served as Chair, Trustee and Governing Board Member, Chair of Audit and Risk and Chair of Finance Committees during this time, completing full terms at the Chartered Institute of Housing and Severn Vale Housing. He is a Board Member at The Pioneer Housing and Community Group, and member of its Audit and Assurance Committee.