Big four auditor to head up new City regulator

Elizabeth Fournier
THE OUTGOING chairman of professional services firm KPMG was yesterday named as the first chairman of one of the new City watchdogs.

John Griffith-Jones will head up the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – one of two new regulatory bodies that will be created when the Financial Services Authority is replaced early next year.

Ahead of the switchover, Griffith-Jones will join the regulator from September as deputy chair, working with incoming FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley to oversee the setting up of the new body.

Announcing the appointment, treasury secretary Mark Hoban said Griffith-Jones’ new position would be “a key role in the successful delivery of the Government’s plan for a new regulatory structure in the UK”.

The FCA’s remit will see it take on supervision of market conduct for all retail and wholesale financial services firms in the UK, as well as carrying out the existing powers of the UK Listing Authority.

“Having worked in the financial world all my professional career, I know how important it is that consumers, investors and businesses have trust in the integrity of the UK’s financial services industry and markets,” Griffith-Jones said yesterday.

“I see the future role of the Financial Conduct Authority as key to rebuilding that trust, in particular through its increased focus on consumer protection and choice.”

Griffith-Jones’ appointment is the latest sign of an increasing trend of private sector bosses joining regulators and vice versa, after FSA enforcement chief Margaret Cole joined fellow auditor PwC as general counsel.

Though movements between the private sector and regulators are common in the US, where so-called revolving door arrangements happen regularly, they have historically been less popular in the UK.