Former FSA chief executive Sir Hector Sants is making a return to the UK financial services industry to lead a review into banking competitiveness on behalf of the British Banking Association.
Sir Hector has not held a major position in the UK’s financial services since he stood down as head of compliance at Barclays in 2013 citing stress and exhaustion after just a few months in the role.
He will be working with consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, where he is a partner, to come up with a series of recommendations in the autumn which will be presented to government by the BBA.
Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, said Sir Hector’s work would be particularly important given the possibility of the UK leaving the EU.
He said: “The banking industry is increasingly concerned about how Britain is becoming an uncompetitive place to do business.
“We want to make sure that the UK continues to benefit from the hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of taxes that are currently provided by the banking industry in this country.
“It is in no one’s interest for the UK’s biggest export industry to lose its global competitiveness.”
Sir Hector joined the FSA in 2004 from Credit Suisse First Boston before being appointed chief executive in 2007.
His appointment coincided with the start of the global banking crisis, and the collapse of Northern Rock.
During his time leading the regulator he clashed with the Treasury select ccommittee on several occasions, including his blunt refusal to extend by a year the deadline for advisers to become RDR-ready. During one session he was accused of being “asleep at the wheel” and “dumping on his predecessor” in relation to the financial crisis.
However, Conservative MP for Wyre Forest Mark Garnier, a former member of the select commitee, said: “He took over running the FSA just as the crisis was happening, so timing was his biggest problem.
“I got to know him when I was on the TSC and got to like him and respect him. He has a huge amount of experience so I will certainly be open-minded about it and I wish him the best of luck.”
Sir Hector stepped down from the FSA in 2012 and was knighted in the 2013 New Years Honours List. In January 2014 Sir Hector accepted an invitation by the Archbishop of Canterbury to chair a credit union task group.
Simon Mansell, director of Worcestershire-based Temple Bar Independent Financial Advice, said: “He is probably the most qualified individual for the task, having completely failed to regulate the banks in their fall in 2008.
“On paper he is extremely well-qualified. I am no fan of the regulator but I understand he was just doing a job.”