Advisers have questioned whether senior regulatory figures should be able to move straight into private sector roles following Financial Ombudsman Service chief executive Natalie Ceeney’s appointment by HSBC.
Ceeney has been appointed as head of customer standards at HSBC, and started at the bank on 3 February. She left the FOS in November.
She will sit on the UK executive committee and be responsible for improving customer service and complaint handling. She will also be tasked with developing the bank’s approach to conduct risk.
Your Mortgage Decisions director Dominik Lipnicki says: “Surely everyone can see through this. It appears you can get a senior role with either the FOS or the FCA, which then guarantees you a nice, big salary in the corporate world.
“It seems to be a question of gamekeeper becoming poacher and it looks really bad. I do not think the public want to see things like this. Perhaps there should be some clause in contracts with regulators that, once you leave, you cannot immediately go straight into the private sector.”
Philip J Milton & Company managing director Philip Milton says: “It would make sense for there to be a gardening leave period for people who exit the FCA or FOS to move into the private sector.
“It appears some of the bigger financial institutions feel as though, by hiring senior people from the FCA or FOS, they are insulating themselves to the kinds of complaints they have been facing.”
But Roxburgh Financial Management branch manager Garry Webb says: “If Ceeney is taking the ethos of a regulator into the structure of a bank, then it is good news. I hope this is a sign of banks trying to get in line with regulatory thinking.”