A senior official at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been chosen to fill the shoes of chief executive Andrew Bailey when he leaves to become Bank of England governor later this year.
The Treasury has appointed Chris Woolard as the City watchdog’s interim boss, the FCA announced on Friday, until a full-time replacement is found.
Mr Woolard, the executive director of strategy and competition, is currently responsible for policy output, innovation, competition and economics. He also sits on the FCA’s board.
He said the watchdog has “a huge job to do”.
The Treasury is set to begin the hunt for a permanent replacement for Mr Bailey later this year.
FCA chairman Charles Randell said: “I’m looking forward to working with Chris in his interim chief executive role. I’m confident that he and executive committee colleagues will continue to deliver our ambitious plans for change in 2020 and beyond, building on the foundations laid by Andrew Bailey.”
Paul Edmondson, a financial services partner at law firm CMS, said: “This is not a surprise appointment. Chris Woolard has been responsible for FCA policy, strategy and innovation during a difficult period for the regulator. He seems a perfect fit to meet the immediate challenge of Brexit-related negotiations and future UK regulatory policy.”
Chancellor Sajid Javid announced earlier this month that Mr Bailey will take over from Bank Governor Mark Carney when the Canadian steps down in March.
The new governor will return to the Bank where he was formerly chief cashier. During that period his signature was on every newly printed Bank of England bank note.
The Leicester-born grammar school boy was seen as a safe pair of hands by ministers, however his time in charge of the FCA has not been without incident.
On Thursday investigators probing the FCA’s role in the collapse of London Capital and Finance, which could cost investors as much as £237 million, said they plan to interview Mr Bailey.
Dame Elizabeth Gloster, who is heading the independent investigation, said she will personally speak to the FCA boss, and the watchdog has said he will be made available.