View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a648129
Knighthood for FSA chief damages honours system, say MPs
MPs have hit out at the decision to award former Financial Services Authority chief executive Hector Sants a knighthood claiming it discredits the honours system.
MPs have hit out at the decision to award former Financial Services Authority (FSA) chief executive Hector Sants a knighthood claiming it discredits the honours system, according to reports.
The Financial Times reported that MPs Douglas Carswell, a Conservative MP for Surrey, and Pat McFadden, Labour MP and member of the Commons Treasury committee, criticised the decision, with Carswell telling the paper: ‘a knighthood is becoming almost as debased a currency as the British pound'.
McFadden told the FT: ‘At a time when the country is still paying for the financial crisis, I think most people will find it odd that someone in a key regulatory position during that period ends up being knighted – especially when British heroes like Mo Farah were not.’
The paper said Sants was thought to have been recommended for the knighthood by chancellor George Osborne, who persuaded him to revoke his decision to quit as head of the FSA after the 2010 election.
Last month Sants courted controversy by accepting a new role as head of compliance at Barclays, the bank with which he clashed when at the FSA.
Sants joined the FSA in 2004 after a career in investment banking culminated in him becoming an executive director of Credit Suisse First Boston. His first role at the regulator was to head its wholesale division, rising to chief executive in July 2007 when John Tiner left. The promotion came just as the credit crunch broke, provoking Britain's worst banking crisis with the near collapses of Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley, RBS and HBOS.
The FSA's failure to act before the financial crisis prompted the Conservatives to scrap the regulator when they came to power with the Liberal Democrats. This year it will be replaced by two new regulators, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, both overseen by the Bank of England.
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