Former chief executive of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) Hector Sants has been knighted in the New Year Honours list.
Sants (pictured) gained the award for ‘services to financial services and regulation’.
He said: ‘This award is a testament to the hard work of everyone at the FSA during the crisis, their willingness to learn lessons and to bring about the changes necessary.’
Sants’ knighthood has attracted criticism from politicians and former bankers who pointed to the FSA’s track record under his tenure.
Paul Moore, ex-HBOS head of risk who blew the whistle on the lack of controls at the bank, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘This is extraordinary. Hector Sants was part of a system that clearly failed. For most people that doesn’t mean you are rewarded with a knighthood.’
In January the Treasury Select Committee criticised the FSA for its handling of regulation during the credit crunch and accused it of being ‘asleep at the wheel’.
It is the second time Sants has attracted criticism since announcing his resignation from the regulator in March. Earlier this month Barclays appointed Sants to the newly created role of head of compliance and government and regulatory relations on a reported pay package of £3 million.
Sants became FSA chief executive in July 2007 after three years heading its wholesale markets wing.
He began his career at stockbroker Phillips & Drew, later taking senior positions at investment banks UBS and Credit Suisse.
Matthew Oakeshott, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, told the Telegraph: ‘He was a very solid food manufacturing analyst at Phillips & Drew, but does he really need a knighthood now on top of his £3 million package at Barclays?’