Regulation  

FCA’s Wheatley says he is ‘disappointed’ about exit

FCA’s Wheatley says he is ‘disappointed’ about exit

FCA chief Martin Wheatley has revealed he is “disappointed to be moving on” after it was revealed last week that the Treasury refused to renew his position on the FCA board.

It was announced on Friday (17 July) that Mr Wheatley, who famously said he would “shoot first” and ask questions later, would step down as chief executive in September.

Speaking today (22 July), Mr Wheatley closed his speech at the regulator’s annual meeting by stating “it has been an interesting few days for me”.

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He added that he wanted to put on record his pride at being able to lead the FSA’s replacement and backed his temporary replacement Tracey McDermott, who was head of enforcement.

Mr Wheatley said: “No doubt the FCA will continue to excel. Looking ahead there is still much to do.

“I am disappointed to be moving on.”

When Mr Wheatley sat down, John Griffith-Jones, chairman of the FCA, said “well done” to him.

The City watchdog confirmed to FTAdviser that Mr Wheatley’s term on the board was up for renewal in March and chancellor George Osborne decided not to renew it.

Speaking on Friday (17 July) Mr Osborne said: “Britain needs a tough, strong financial conduct regulator. Martin Wheatley has done a brilliant job of launching the FCA in tough circumstances.

“Now that phase is complete, the government believes that different leadership is required to build on those foundations and take the organisation to the next stage of its development.

“The government is launching a worldwide search; Martin’s replacement will – like him – need to be passionate about protecting consumers, promoting competition and completing the job of cleaning up the City, so it is the best-regulated market in the world.

On Monday the Financial Services Consumer Panel said it was “profoundly disturbing” that the Treasury was using the dismissal to send a signal to the banks that the days of ‘intrusive’ regulation are over.

“The FCA is an independent regulator and the government should allow it to do the job parliament intended it to do. We hope the board will urge the Treasury to appoint a successor CEO who will equally visibly put consumers at the heart of regulation,” read a statement.

Earlier this month it was revealed Mr Wheatley was paid more than £700,000 for the year to the end of March, compared with £610,000 last year - the increase being mainly down to him waiving his bonus following the closed-book scandal in 2014.

Meanwhile, Ms McDermott - who has agreed to act as Mr Wheatley’s temporary replacement - was paid £475,000 during the last 15 months, up from £329,000 during the last period.

emma.hughes@ft.com