Finally we have news that a chief executive of the FCA has been appointed by HM Treasury.
Six months after his predecessor Martin Wheatley stepped down, Andrew Bailey, the current chief executive of the PRA is to take over, once his successor is found. Mr Bailey is also deputy governor at the Bank of England, where he oversees prudential regulation, and his appointment will be viewed as yet more influence from the Bank of England over the FCA.
There was some criticism recently about perceived BoE influence over the decision to drop a review into bank culture, and despite George Osborne’s commitment to a “worldwide search” for a new head – Mr Wheatley came from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission – he has opted for a bank insider.
Mr Osborne may have been looking for a “safe” pair of hands, or at least someone he knows. But the appointment of Mr Bailey is likely to mean that we will get more of the same.
Perhaps after the leak debacle with Mr Wheatley, Mr Osborne does not want anyone upsetting the banks too much as he attempts to ease himself into Number 10 Downing, but many will be asking if he could have made a more imaginative choice.
Mr Bailey worked with Sir Hector Sants at the then FSA as deputy head of the Prudential Business Unit and director of UK Banks and Building Societies, and some have laid the blame for the Co-Op bank failure at his door.
How much the failure of supervision can be blamed on one man is a moot point, and we do not have a clear answer, but if anyone were hoping that we would get a fresh pair of eyes at the top of the City regulator, bringing a broad range of experience, they are likely to be disappointed.