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Andrew Bailey favourite to take over Sants’ PRA role

Prudential Regulation Authority deputy chief executive designate Andrew Bailey is the overwhelming favourite to take the top role at the PRA following chief executive designate Hector Sants’ resignation.

Regulatory experts and trade bodies say Bailey is likely to take the job unless a surprise candidate emerges.

Last April, Bailey was appointed Bank of England executive director and PRA deputy chief executive designate.

Last month, FSA chief executive Sants, who is head of the FSA’s prudential business unit, announced he is stepping down at the end of June and will not head the PRA. Bailey has been appointed interim head of the FSA’s prudential business unit while the Treasury decides on Sants’ successor.

Bailey has been at the Bank for 25 years in roles including head of the special resolution unit and head of the international economic analysis division in monetary analysis.

Cicero Consulting chief corporate counsel Iain Anderson says: “He is absolutely the front runner and the Treasury will consider him very strongly.”

Association of Financial Mutuals chief executive Martin Shaw says Bailey would provide a safe pair of hands while an industry candidate may struggle to adjust to life as a regulator.

He says Bailey could have been lined up for the role when Sants almost left the FSA in 2010. He says: “They put Bailey close to Sants as an understudy, so it could be that this was all thought about long ago.”

However, Anderson says the Treasury may also look to the industry for a possible replacement. He says: “Given the noises about how much the PRA will understand asset management and insurance compared with banking, bringing in someone from one of those sectors could help balance the ticket.”

Lansons director Ralph Jackson says: “Do not discount another international regulator with twin peaks’ experience emerging in the same way that Financial Conduct Authority chief executive designate Martin Wheatley did from the Hong Kong regulator.”

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