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Meet the Financial Conduct Authority’s New Boss

The man previously tasked with helping the U.K. Treasury navigate the fallout from the financial crisis has been named chair of the U.K. regulator.

  • By Joe McGrath

A former lawyer has been appointed to take the reins of the Financial Conduct Authority, having helped the U.K. Treasury deal with stricken lenders Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley, and Royal Bank of Scotland during the financial crisis.

Charles Randell becomes chair of the financial regulator on April 1, and will serve a five-year term, according to a press announcement Friday.

Randell worked at law firm Slaughter and May from 1980 to 2013, and became a partner at the firm in 1989.

He is a corporate finance specialist and has worked with numerous government departments on financial stability projects. Randell’s previous assignments included advising the Portuguese Ministry of Finance in recapitalizing the country’s banks.

Andrew Bailey, the FCA’s chief executive, said Randell’s experience during the financial crisis highlights “a strong understanding of the challenges that the FCA faces.” Randell replaces John Griffith-Jones who last year confirmed that he would be stepping down as chair at the end of March 2018.

An FCA spokesperson confirmed that Randell will resign from the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Committee and Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee in coming months.

Members of the British investment industry underscored the workload that awaits him in April.

Graham Vidler of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association welcomed the appointment and urged the new FCA boss to support innovation and competition.

“In the current financial and economic climate, it is more important than ever that the FCA has the appropriate leadership to ensure it can protect consumers and support a healthy, innovative and competitive financial system,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the FCA to deliver a market that works efficiently, transparently, and in the best interests of pension scheme members.”

Investment Association chief executive officer Chris Cummings said he hoped the trade body’s close working relationship with the regulator would continue under Randell.

“Over the next five years of his tenure, the financial services sector will face many opportunities and challenges, including those posed by the U.K.’s departure from the European Union,” Cummings said. “We warmly welcome Charles Randell’s appointment”

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