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Advisers slam Sants’ Barclays move

Hector Sants 480

Advisers have slammed former FSA chief executive Hector Sants’ move to Barclays, which has had a string of regulatory failings in recent years.

Last week Barclays announced that Sants is joining the bank as head of compliance and government and regulatory relations.

Sants joins the executive committee and will report directly to group chief executive Antony Jenkins when he joins on 21 January. He does not join the board.

Barclays says Sants will oversee all compliance activities across Barclays and across all regions. It says this is the first time all compliance staff will report to one individual.

In June, Barclays was fined £290m by US and UK regulators for manipulating Libor. In October, it was forced to increase its provision for payment protection insurance redress to £2bn.

In January 2011, the FSA fined Barclays £7.7m for misselling two Aviva funds. The bank saw a 77 per cent rise in investment complaints in 2011.

M Thurlow & Co senior partner Blair Cann says: “Given Barclays’ numerous compliance failings, most recently with regard to Libor, I am amazed Sants has been allowed to join an organisation he was regulating just a matter of weeks ago. It is absolutely outrageous.”

FortyTwo Wealth Management partner Alan Dick says: “This is a publicity stunt from an organisation that has obviously had very bad compliance failings in the past.

“There is a conflict of interest there because Sants has been privy to confidential information about many of Barclays’ competitors.”

Sants says: “I left the FSA with the intention of finding a role which would allow me to put into practice the experience I have gained in both the public and private sector. Leading Barclays’ global compliance function and overseeing the bank’s relationship with governments and regulators gives me that opportunity.”

Sants was UBS vice chairman between 1998 and 2000 and Credit Suisse First Boston vice chairman between 2000 and 2001. He was appointed Credit Suisse First Boston chief executive in 2001 and joined the FSA in 2004.

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  1. Many may consider that, under Mr Sants’ leadership, the FSA appears not to have functioned particularly well on various fronts. However, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that most of his prior career was in banking and stock broking (Phillips & Drew, UBS and Warburg Dillon Read), so a return to that sector is a fairly logical move, to a role that will enable him to combine his experience of banking with that of compliance.

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