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FCA chief feared criticism over former head taking bank job

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Former acting FCA chief Tracey McDermott, now at Standard Chartered

FCA chief Andrew Bailey expressed private concerns to the boss of Standard Chartered that hiring his predecessor would draw accusations of a “revolving door” between the regulator and the private sector.

Emails obtain by The Times show Bailey was concerned about how failing to communicate the restrictions on the role Tracey McDermott would take up at the Asia-focused bank after serving as interim head of the regulator would draw criticism from MPs.

McDermott was acting head of the FCA from September 2015 to July last year after then Chancellor George Osborne declined to renew previous boss Martin Wheatley’s contract. Former Prudential Regulation Authority head Bailey was then picked for the role full time after McDermott ruled herself out.

McDermott joined Standard Chartered as group head of corporate, public and regulatory affairs in March, with a number of letters drafted confirming the limits of her role.

However, these were not published immediately, which drew concern from Bailey.

Writing to Standard Chartered boss Bill Winters, Bailey said: “We are in a difficult position now that I understand you have confirmed Tracey’s appointment in a statement but made no reference to the exchange of letters…We risk a reaction from the Treasury select committee for instance. We need to get the letters out asap.”

FCA’s Tracey McDermott named in Queen’s honours list

The day after Bailey’s email, a letter was published confirming McDermott “will not share…confidential information that she received or obtained from her work at the FCA.”

The Treasury select committee still voiced concerns about the appointment however, including SNP MP George Kerevan , who said it was “deep concern that a former head of the FCA has gone through the revolving door to become chief lobbyist for Standard Chartered”.


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevens 30th May 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t recall any such concerns being raised when Hector Sants took up his senior position with Barclays. Funny that.

  2. He (Bailey) obviously feels it was wrong which is why he feared the criticism.

    The very fact also remains, here we we have a person of significant influence with the regulator going to a significant position with a company who have been fined and put under supervision by the regulator as is STILL under supervision

    Worried…… you bet your life he is worried the whole thing stinks, I hope McDermott goes the way of Sants…. licking windows on the blue bus !

  3. Imagine that the head of the regulator – joining a bank ? It is not the first time and it will not be the last time with the revolving door of employment and circular activity that goes with each job. It is a pity that Regulation is not included. It is disappointing that having earned ( or not ) their knowledge form the regulator that they should be purchased like an old piece of meat – from the regulator. Who is the firm of solicitors who writes their “employment contract?”

    • Julian Stevens 31st May 2017 at 2:11 pm

      An extremely costly one which, having landed its contract with the FCA, knows full well that it need spare no expense for anything it does for it.

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