Regulation  

Adamson to leave FCA as report into watchdog’s news handling days away

Clive Adamson looks set to leave the FCA as a critical report into the regulator’s handling of market-sensitive news is about to be published.

Mr Adamson is currently in charge of supervising regulated companies and sits on the FCA’s executive board.

He will be leaving along with communications director Zitah McMillan and authorisations director Victoria Raffé as part of a wider shake-up at the watchdog.

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He was caught up in controversy earlier this year when he was quoted in a national newspaper as saying the regulator planned an inquiry into 30 million pension and investment policies going back to the 1970s. The announcement led to more than £3bn being wiped off the market value of Britain’s biggest insurers in one day

Since then Simon Davis, a partner at law firm Clifford Chance, has been leading an inquiry into the debacle and his report is due to be published on Wednesday.

It is widely expected to be critical and recommend tighter guidelines when briefing the media.

FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley admitted in April that the regulator’s handling of the probe into so-called zombie insurance funds was not the FCA’s finest hour.

Mr Adamson joined the Financial Services Authority in 2007 from the Bank of England where he worked on regulation. In 2010 he approved Reverend Paul Flowers as chairman of the Co-op Bank.

Ms McMillan joined the FSA in 2012 from the department for work and pensions where she was communications director, and Ms Raffé joined the regulator in 1995 from KPMG.

On 8 December the FCA announced that his department will be merging the authorisations and supervision departments along with other specialist functions such as financial crime and client assets.

Tracey McDermott, the director of enforcement and financial crime, will take responsibility for managing the transition and will lead one of the new divisions which will be created in April.

Four new divisions will also be created including a strategy and competition division and a markets policy and international division led by existing FCA executive board members Christopher Woolard and David Lawton respectively.

Meanwhile, a new risk division and a markets oversight division will be led by Richard Sutcliffe and Marc Teasdale respectively on an acting basis.

Mr Wheatley said: “In the 18 months since the inception of the FCA we have achieved a lot, and now is the time to sharpen our focus and to look at how we can deliver our objectives and ambitions to the best of our abilities. The financial industry continually evolves, and to regulate it effectively we must evolve too.”

Adviser view

Simon Webster, managing director of Kent-based Facts and Figures, said: “I think the FCA is showing a double-standard of staggering proportions in the treatment of its own internal staff compared to the treatment of practioners in the financial services area.

“I am personally offended by the way this matter has been handled.”