UK: Ex-lawyer appointed chair of regulator FCA
05 Jan 2018

Former lawyer Charles Randell (CBE) has been appointed as the new chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), taking over from John Griffith-Jones in April this year.

Randell worked for law firm Slaughter and May for 13 years, specialising in corporate finance law.

He also worked on financial stability and bank restructuring assignments.

His portfolio includes advising the Treasury department on the resolutions of Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and the Icelandic banks.

He has also advised the Portuguese Ministry of Finance on the recapitalisation of the Portuguese banking sector, an FCA statement said.

Randell currently serves as an external member of the Prudential Regulation Committee of the Bank of England and is also chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee at the Department for Business.

FCA chief executive and former Prudential Regulation Authority chief Andrew Bailey said: “His experience of regulation, both during the financial crisis and more recently as a member of the Prudential Regulation Committee, [means] that he has a strong understanding of the challenges that the FCA faces and I look forward to tackling these with him in his new role.”

The issue of top appointments at the FCA has caused controversy in the past, specifically with the departure of former chief executive Martin Wheatley.

Wheatley, it was alleged, was pressured to leave for having a “strained” relationship with City banks and a “too tough approach.”

Towards his departure, there were suggestions that, going forward, the regulator would have a re-conciliatory approach with industry, working alongside and not against bankers.

Bailey’s appointment also raised eyebrows, amid allegations that he was not interviewed, but ‘simply appointed,’ for the FCA chief role.

On Friday, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said: “I am delighted to appoint Charles Randell as Chair of the FCA. Charles has a wealth of relevant experience, and I am sure that he will prove to be a strong leader at this very important time.”

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