Bailey insists his agenda is same as Wheatley’s

Bailey insists his agenda is same as Wheatley’s

New Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Andrew Bailey has said he will not have a particularly different approach to his predecessor.

Martin Wheatley stood down as FCA chief executive last year after former chancellor George Osborne told him his contract would not be renewed when it expired.

Mr Wheatley, who famously said he would “shoot first” and ask questions later, was first replaced by interim chief executive Tracey McDermott and then by former Prudential Regulation Authority chief executive Mr Bailey, who took charge of the FCA at the start of this month.

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But speaking at a press conference after today’s (19 July) FCA annual public meeting, where Mr Bailey announced a review of the regulator’s mission, he said he was not prompted by the fact he disagreed with his predecessor.

He said: “The mission is not about heavy touch regulation or light touch regulation. There is no agenda there. I have got no different agenda than Martin Wheatley on that front.

“The mission is about getting a philosophical base for how we choose what we do.

“Martin Wheatley made some comments about shooting which I have already said I don’t agree with.

“I talk to him a lot and I don’t think he had an agenda about light touch or heavy touch regulation.

“The reason I say that about Martin Wheatley is not because I am swinging to some other end of the pendulum.

“We have had those big swings and they are not conducive towards a stable institutional structure.”

Mr Bailey also addressed the issue of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy, which the FCA is currently reviewing.

He said: “I would say recent experiences have asked some very hard questions about how we fund the FSCS.

“We want to have FSCS protection in place but it is also clear that the question of who pays and how it is paid bring to mind a range of systems.”

He said the FCA will consider all proposals before forming a view on how the compensation scheme should be funded.

One of the most popular proposals for reform is the introduction of a product levy but the FCA has already ruled this out as an option in the current review because this would require legislation, which would put it outside the scope of the study.