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Head of UK financial regulator to step down

Hector Sants, CEO of Britain’s Financial Services Authority, announced Friday he will step down in June, a year before a new regulatory system in the UK gets up and running.

Hector sants fsa 2012 03 16Enlarge
While the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will oversee consumer protection onwards from early 2013 onwards, Hector Sants was set to become boss of the new Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), part of the Bank of England. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

LONDON – Hector Sants, the chief executive of Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), has said he will step down in June.

Friday’s announcement comes a year before the FSA is split into two bodies, with the bulk of its powers being transferred to the Bank of England, the country’s central bank, The New York Times reports.

While the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will oversee consumer protection onwards from early 2013 onwards, Sants was set to become boss of the new Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which will be part of the Bank of England and regulate financial firms. He will now not take up that role, according to the BBC.

The creation of the new bodies has taken longer than most had expected, but the FSA has denied reports this was the reason behind Sants’ decision to quit.

Sants, a former Credit Suisse First Boston Banker, had already resigned in 2010, but was persuaded by the UK’s incoming coalition government to stay on and oversee the transition to the new “twin peaks” regulatory regime, The Guardian reports.

Margaret Cole, who had been the FSA’s managing director of business conduct, also quit recently.

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In a statement, Sants said: “When I agreed to stay on as CEO in 2010 I committed to stay and deliver an orderly transition to the government’s new regulatory structure.”

“With the establishment of the twin peaks within the FSA I will have achieved that goal.”

The 56-year-old reportedly wants to find another executive job in the public or private sector once his six-month gardening leave ends.

Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, said he was “sad” that Sants had decided to stand down, adding that he was “very grateful to him for staying on for longer than he had planned.”

The Bank of England’s Andrew Bailey will take over as head of the Prudential Business Unit (PBU), which will soon become the PRA, when Sants leaves in the summer, according to The Independent.  

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/120316/head-uk-financial-regulator-step-down