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City watchdog names Andrew Bailey as new boss

Chief executive of banking supervisor the Prudential Regulation Authority will take up top job at Financial Conduct Authority.

City watchdog names Andrew Bailey as new boss

City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed Andrew Bailey, chief executive of banking supervisor the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), as its new boss.

Bailey fills the gap left vacant by Martin Wheatley, who resigned last summer after chancellor George Osborne refused to renew his contract.

His appointment ends a six-month hunt for a new chief executive, although it will now force the Bank of England into a search for his successor at the head of the FCA. The Bank said Bailey would remain in his current post until a new chief executive had been found.

Bailey will join the FCA at a time of intense political scrutiny for the watchdog, which has been forced to deny it dropped a review into banking culture and an investigation into allegations HSBC's Swiss private bank helped wealthy clients evade tax under pressure from the Treasury.

He will also be watched for his attitude towards the banks, after Wheatley's effective dismissal from the role was widely perceived as having been a response to his combative approach towards lenders.

It is not yet clear whether Tracey McDermott, interim FCA chief executive, will remain at the regulator when Bailey assumes the role. McDermott had been seen as a front-runner for the position until she ruled herself out of the running for the post.

Bailey said he took the role because it was clear the FCA needed ‘stable’ leadership. ‘Recent developments have shown that the most pressing issue in the system right now is the need for stable leadership at the FCA,’ he said.

‘Although it had not been my intention to leave the PRA during my term as chief executive, a job that I enjoy enormously, it is a great honour to have been asked by the chancellor to take on the job of FCA chief executive.'

Osborne said: 'His appointment is an important next step in the establishment of the FCA as a strong regulator, independent of government and industry.

‘He has already done a superb job at the PRA; where he has shown how effective he is as a leader, able to build strong relationships and use his fine judgment to steer the PRA through its formative years.’

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