London Stock Exchange boss tapped to lead finance watchdog
Nikhil Rathi, CEO of the London Stock Exchange. Photo: Richard Gray / EMPICS Entertainment / Getty
The Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L) has been appointed the new head of Britain's top financial security guard.
The Treasury announced on Monday that Nikhil Rathi has been appointed as the new director of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulator that oversees much of the UK financial system.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said Rathi was an "outstanding candidate" to lead the watchdog.
"We have done a thorough, global search for this important date. Based on his extensive financial services experience, I am confident that Nikhil will bring the ambitious vision and leadership that this organization demands," Sunak said in a statement.
Rathi has been responsible for the London Stock Exchange since 2015 and spent 11 years in the Treasury before joining the stock exchange group.
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From September 2009 to April 2014, Rathi was Director of the Financial Services Group at the Ministry of Finance and headed the department's work with the EU and beyond. Rathi was also the Prime Minister's private secretary from 2005 to 2008.
Charles Randell, FCA Chairman, said: "Nikhil has been closely involved in steering FCA development through his roles in our Practitioner Panel and Markets Practitioner Panel, and brings with it both private sector management skills and experience in national and international regulatory policy. "
Rathi said it was an "honor" for him to take on this role, and he said: "In the coming years, we will work together to create an even more diverse organization that supports recovery with a special focus on vulnerable consumers, introduces new technologies and our role plays. " Combating climate change, enforcing high standards and ensuring that Britain leads the world in international regulatory discussions. "
Rathi, Randell and Sunak thanked Christopher Woolard, who has served as the FCA's interim chief executive since March. Woolard took over from Andrew Bailey, who left as the new governor of the Bank of England.
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"I look forward to building on Andrew Bailey's strong legacy and the exceptional leadership of Christopher Woolard and the FCA leadership team during the crisis," said Rathi. "FCA colleagues can be proud of their success in helping consumers and businesses across the UK in the past few months."
The FCA's mission is to protect consumers in funding and ensuring market integrity in the UK. The leadership of the regulator is seen as largely thankless because it is primarily linked to responding to scandals such as PPIs.
Rathi takes over the management of the FCA at a particularly delicate moment. Britain is facing the steepest recession in 300 years due to COVID-19, which is likely to cause enormous financial problems. The regulator also needs to steer Brexit, with the transition period for Britain ending in just six months.
The FCA has also been criticized for dealing with a number of mini-bond investment scandals that have led to charges that the regulator slept at the wheel.
Questions about the behavior of FCA employees were also raised after an internal memo leaked to the press last November about "stealing overfilled garbage cans, plants, and loading cables from desks, catering, and security teams," who were insulted, colleagues who sat on the chair floor in toilet cubicles on a certain floor, urinate on the floor in the men's toilets and leave alcohol bottles in sanitary containers. "
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