Nicoll is to become director of conduct policy and will oversee the implementation of the retail distribution review, replacing Dan Waters who has been moved from his RDR remit to head up a new retail conduct risk division aimed at assessing and mitigating risks for consumers.
Nicoll and Adams will both take up their new roles at the start of October.
Adams joined the FSA in1998 from the Bank of England and has held a number of roles at the regulator, including head of wholesale insurance firms.
He runs the department responsible for supervising the major retail UK banks and oversaw the implementation of the enhancement programme within his division.
Adams is a representative on the international senior supervisors’ group and the Basel committee standards implementation group.
FSA retail managing director Jon Pain says: “Julian has been outstanding in dealing with some of the issues that the banking sector has faced in the last couple of years and has played a key role in implementing our more intensive supervision model for major firms.”