Outsider chosen to run City watchdog – with interim boss Chris Woolard shunned by the Treasury
An outsider has been chosen to run the City watchdog – with interim boss Chris Woolard shunned by the Treasury.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday that Nikhil Rathi – boss of the London Stock Exchange – was the ‘outstanding candidate’ to lead the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Woolard had been in charge since Andrew Bailey stepped down in March to become governor of the Bank of England.
‘Outstanding’: Nikhil Rathi – boss of the London Stock Exchange – has been chosen to run the FCA
And though he was a strong favourite to assume the chief executive role permanently, Rathi, who worked at the Treasury for five years until April 2014, will start at the FCA in the autumn for an initial five-year term.
Sunak said: ‘Nikhil is the out standing candidate. We have conducted a thorough, worldwide search for this crucial appointment and, through his wideranging experiences across financial services, I am confident that [he] will bring the ambitious vision and leadership this organisation demands.’
One City source said there was ‘some surprise’ that Woolard had not made the grade, but suggested Rathi’s time at the Treasury representing the UK’s financial services interests abroad would stand him in good stead to lead the regulator through Brexit.
Another source in the investment industry suggested there was a perceived need to shake up the top ranks of the FCA, after the incumbent officials failed to preempt issues such as the London Capital and Finance mini bonds scandal and the Neil Woodford savings debacle.
But Catherine McGuinness, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, welcomed the appointment, adding that Rathi’s ‘depth of experience’ will be vitally important.