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FSA Chief Departure Puts UK Agency In Jeopardy

No one knows whether FSA has a future after Hector Sants's impending resignation.

Hector Sants has apparently had enough. Last month the chief executive of the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority said that he would resign this summer — most likely in July. The timing seemed to surprise all but the 54-year-old Sants himself, who has insisted that he intended all along to serve only three years.

His impending departure leaves the regulator in a fix. No one knows whether the FSA even has a future: The Conservatives have vowed that if they triumph in the coming election, they will abolish the agency and make the Bank of England responsible for all regulatory oversight.

Sants’ decision startled many in the City who admire his stoicism in the face of considerable heat. “He did help the FSA change certain elements of its approach and become more rigorous and intrusive,” says Julian Korek, co-founder of Kinetic Partners.