MPs approve incoming FCA chairman despite tax issues

MPs approve incoming FCA chairman despite tax issues

MPs have approved the appointment of Charles Randell as chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority despite his admission he invested in the Ingenious film partnership.

Mr Randell had been put forward by HM Treasury to replace John Griffith-Jones when he leaves the regulator in April.

The incoming chairman appeared before the Treasury select committee on Tuesday as part of the appointment process and during the hearing it emerged Mr Randell had been a member of Ingenious Film Partners 2 LLP between 2006 and 2011.

But Nicky Morgan, the committee's chairman, said she was satisfied Mr Randell had the "professional competence and personal independence" necessary to the chairman of the FCA.

She said: "Mr Randell’s membership of Ingenious Film Partners 2 LLP was picked up during the committee’s preparation for Tuesday’s appointment hearing, and further details have been elicited through my correspondence with the Treasury.

"The committee raised this issue during the hearing. Mr Randell acknowledged that he had made an error of judgement by participating in the scheme. We received an assurance from him that there are no other aspects of his personal tax affairs that might cast his judgement into further question."

Mr Randell is currently an external member of the Bank of England's prudential regulation committee.

He told the committee on Tuesday he considered the fact he hadn't made "sufficient investigation" into the scheme and had relied on his financial adviser to be an "error of judgement".

Mr Randell said he had since "dispensed with the services" of his financial adviser, asked HMRC to provide him with an individual bill for the amount of tax he owed and paid this back in 2015.

The total bill came to around £114,000 plus interest.

Mr Randell worked at law firm Slaughter & May from 1980 to 2013, becoming a partner in 1989.

He specialised in corporate finance law, and worked on financial stability and bank restructuring assignments.

He advised HM Treasury on the resolutions of Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and the Icelandic banks as well as the government's investments into RBS and the merged Lloyds/HBoS.

Mr Randell also advised the Portuguese Ministry of Finance on the recapitalisation of the Portuguese banking sector.