Barclays has lured Hector Sants, who will become the bank's head of compliance from 21 January 2013.
The former Financial Services Authority chief was also rumoured to have been in talks with global consultancy Deloitte, but in a snap announcement Barclays said it had hired the regulation boss.
The bank said: 'In this role, Mr Sants will oversee all compliance activities across Barclays, including all regions in which Barclays does business.
'In a major change this will mean, for the first time, that all compliance staff within the bank report to one individual, and operate independent of business and regional management teams.'
The news follows Barclays Bank in Spain being hit by a new fine. Its Spanish division was fined €600,000 by the country's stock market regulator for underestimating the risk of structured bonds sold to clients.
In his new position Sants (pictured) will be directly accountable to the group chief executive of Barclays for the performance of the compliance function against a framework of specific standards agreed by the Barclays board, and for ensuring the conduct of all staff is consistent with Barclays purpose and values.
Marking a first for the bank, Sants will additionally take on responsibility for the Barclays’s relationships with governments and regulators around the world, the bank said in its statement.