Wheatley leaving with ‘unfinished business’

Wheatley leaving with ‘unfinished business’

The fair and effective markets review, implementing a senior manager regime, completing work on consumer credit regime and Mifid are just some of the things outgoing chief executive Martin Wheatley wanted to complete before leaving the FCA.

In a press conference following the FCA’s annual meeting this morning, Mr Wheatley expressed disappointment over stepping down as chief executive of the FCA but said he took pride in leading the organisation and in helping it become a “world class regulator”.

Adding that he would like to be remembered for setting up a solid organisation, Mr Wheatley said the FCA had delivered a systemic shift in the UK in the way people now think about financial sector.

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“We have put conduct at the top of the agenda for financial services firms across the country and have put in place a consumer credit regime, a petition scheme and have been leading the response to the international forex scandal,” Mr Wheatley said.

But he also said a lot of work still needs to be done and he has no doubt the FCA will continue to excel.

He expressed his worry that, as the economic cycle moved further away from the financial crisis, conduct could become less of a priority.

With regards to whether the RDR had brought about changes, Mr Wheatley said it has definitely stepped up professional standards of the industry. “It was a huge test for the industry but the IFA industry has slowly got clarity over provision of service,” he said. “The question is whether there is enough provision of service to the people with relatively simpler and smaller pots to invest.”

John-Griffith Jones, chairman of the FCA thanked Mr Wheatley for his efforts, saying the regulator would miss him. He added that the FCA is in a transition phase at the moment but that it would slowly manage.

When asked if he would have extended Mr Wheatley’s contract, he said it was not up to him. “Renewal of contract is a decision of the chancellor and it is the job of the board to see the organisation runs as smoothly as possible,” he said. Mr Jones also said he hoped he would continue to remain in his job and would still be in place this time next year.

Mr Wheatley will be temporarily replaced by Tracey McDermott, a senior official at the regulator while the FCA searches for a permanent chief executive.