Regulation  

Australian regulator boss tipped for FCA top job

Australian regulator boss tipped for FCA top job

Rumours are circling that the head of the Australian regulator will be appointed to lead the FCA as the application period closes.

Greg Medcraft is the chairman of ASIC and is reported to have been contacted by headhunters over the vacant chief executive role at the FCA.

It is understood that the application period for the role has very recently closed, meaning the Treasury will now whittle down its choices until it comes up with a candidate.

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Mr Medcraft is said to be seriously considering taking on the role, but it is unclear whether he would represent the change in tone from Martin Wheatley as he recently told the Financial Times that banks “deserve everything they get”.

His name has been floated as he nears the end of his five-year term as chairman of ASIC and, as reports in Australia suggest, he might fall victim to a review of the regulator he currently leads. The Australian government is carrying out a review that will look into splitting up, merging or overhauling the regulator.

When previous FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley announced his resignation George Osborne said he would launch a “worldwide search” to find his replacement.

Mr Medcraft spent nearly 30 years in investment banking at Societe Generale in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. He was the managing director and global head of securitisation, based in New York.

Since returning to Australia in 2007 he has been chief executive and executive officer of the Australian Securitisation Forum.

He joined ASIC as commissioner in February 2009 and was appointed chairman in May 2011 for a five-year term. Since 2012, he has been chairman of the International Organization of Securities Commissions board.

His appointment would make him the second Australian to be appointed to a senior position at the FCA, with Mark Steward already the director of enforcement.

The FCA declined to comment and the Treasury did not respond.

Background

Martin Wheatley resigned in June after being told by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that his term would not be renewed when it expired in March 2016.

His departure from the FCA was widely interpreted to be due to Mr Osborne’s desire to reach a “new settlement” with financial services, while Mr Wheatley was characterised by his notorious claim that he would “shoot first and ask questions later”.