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Sants defends decision to join Barclays

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Sants defends decision to join Barclays

Newly-knighted Hector Sants has defended his decision to join Barclays, claiming he is not compromised by the role.

The former Financial Services Authority (FSA) boss launched a fierce defence speaking to MPs.

Sants came under fire as he gave evidence at the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, however he said he was 'not compromised' by accepting a post as head of compliance at Barclays and had respected guidelines on when former regulatory chiefs can take up positions elsewhere.

'There is a statutory period when you are not allowed to work for a competitor and I will have passed that before I start,' Sants (pictured) said.

Sants added he, the FSA and Barclays were all aware of some cases against the bank, but 'safeguards' had been put in place to protect shareholders and the public interest.

The fresh criticism sees Sants begin the new year the way 2012 ended - facing opposition about his suitability for public appointments and honours. 

He was recognised by the Queen for his services to banking, however his surprise knighthood was followed with a barrage of public criticism over his handling of the financial crisis.

While Sants served at the FSA during 2008's severe downturn, and later steered it towards a new regulatory framework based on the lessons learnt - many felt he should have been able to spot the sector's difficulties.

Sants will take up his post at Barclays on 21 January, when for the first time the bank's compliance operations will fall under the control of a single person.

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