Martin Wheatley, the FCA's chief executive who has been unceremoniously ousted by chancellor George Osborne has spoken of his upset at leaving while there is still “unfinished business”.
Wheatley made his first public statement at the Financial Conduct Authority's annual public meeting this morning, just days after his shock departure was revealed on Friday.
“Frankly, I'm disappointed to be moving on with a sense of unfinished business,” Wheatley said.
“There is still work to be done but I am more convinced than ever that conduct is at the top of firms' agenda. It's not longer an afterthought.”
Wheatley said he was proud of the FCA's work on consumer vulnerability, but of the Retail Distribution Review he acknowledged it had “not solved all the problems, and future work needs to be done”.
The watchdog boss resigned after learning that Osborne would not renew his contract when it ends in March next year. He will step down on 12 September and is being replaced by Tracey McDermott.
During his time at the FCA it handed huge fines to banks over the libor scandal and foreign exchange market rigging, and Wheatley said these had helped ensure conduct issues were pushed right up to boardroom level.
"I’m more convinced than ever than ever that conduct is at the the front of firms’ agendas. It is no longer an afterthought."
Wheatley was bought in by the government in 2008 during the global financial crisis to overhaul City practice. He took up the role of the FCA's first chief executive after the heavily criticised Financial Services Authority was disbanded.
"I can tell you that establishing a culture at a new organisation is a pretty lonely top-down process," FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones told the audience.