UK regulator FCA’s chairman to quit

Allegations swirl around figurehead as he chooses to walk away

UK regulator FCA’s chairman to quit

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

The search is on for the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) next chairman. Amid allegations of a conflict of interest, John Griffith-Jones is stepping down when his term expires in 2018.

A Sky News report said the former KPMG partner faced calls to resign earlier this year as police investigated the £245 million fraud scandal at HBOS, a mortgage lender audited by KPMG during the financial crisis.

Citing that no previous chair had served more than a single term, the report noted that the departure is said to have been Griffith-Jones’ decision. He will also step down as chairman of the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) next March.

Griffith-Jones had what Financial Times reports described as ‘bruising encounters’ at parliamentary select committees. In 2014 he was harshly criticised by then-chancellor George Osborne for the way the UK’s financial conduct watchdog gave an advance briefing re its review into the insurance sector. Insurance share prices tumbled following the incident.

However, according to the report, many people believe that during Griffith-Jones’ term the FCA has grown into a credible and well-regarded regulator.

Meanwhile, in a statement he said, “It has been, and continues to be, a great privilege to be responsible for the work of both the FCA and the PSR. I like to believe that I will leave both in good shape to regulate well in the future.”

The Treasury said the search for Griffith-Jones’ successor would now begin.

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