Leadsom says Margaret Cole should have been FCA chief

Treasury select committee member Andrea Leadsom believes FSA director Margaret Cole should have been appointed Financial Conduct Authority chief executive to help remedy the lack of women in top UK financial roles.

At a committee hearing with the FSA last week, Leadsom attacked the fact there are no women at the helm of the FSA, the FCA, the Bank of England or the UK’s four biggest banks.

Speaking to Money Marketing, she said FSA conduct of business unit interim managing director Cole should have been made chief executive at the FCA over Martin Wheatley to redress the imbalance.

She says: “There is no one at the top of the new or the old regulators or the biggest banks and this is a serious point.

“In committee, Margaret was a lot more assertive and opinionated that Martin. The others deferred to her on detail and she knew her stuff. I understand she went for the job, so she gets my vote.”

The FSA’s board has five women and 10 men.

No women sit on the monetary policy committee or the interim financial policy committee within the bank and one woman sits on its court.