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Govt ousts FCA chief Martin Wheatley


FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley is to stand down in September, the regulator has announced.

FCA director of supervision Tracey McDermott will take over as acting chief executive on 12 September until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Chancellor George Osborne says the regulator needs “different leadership”.

Osborne says: “Britain needs a tough, strong financial conduct regulator. Martin Wheatley has done a brilliant job of launching the FCA in tough circumstances.

“Now that phase is complete, the Government believes that different leadership is required to build on those foundations and take the organisation to the next stage of its development.

“The Government is launching a worldwide search; Martin’s replacement will – like him – need to be passionate about protecting consumers, promoting competition and completing the job of cleaning up the City, so it is the best-regulated market in the world.”

Wheatley will continue to act as an adviser to the FCA board until 31 January 2016. He will focus in particular on the implementation of the Fair and Effective Markets Review, a review of the wholesale financial markets established by the Government.

Wheatley says: “I am incredibly proud of all we have achieved together in building the FCA over the last four years. I know that the organisation will build on that strong start and work so that the financial services industry continues to thrive.”

FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones says: “Martin has done an outstanding job as chief executive setting up and leading the FCA over the last four years. We owe him a lot and I and my board would like to thank him for his great efforts in setting up the organisation and for the contribution he has made to putting conduct so firmly at the top of the financial services agenda.

“We all wish Martin well and I am pleased that we will continue to benefit from his wisdom and expertise over the next few months.”

Wheatley joined the FSA in September 2011 as managing director of its conduct business unit, before becoming chief executive of the FCA in April 2013.

He previously served as chief executive of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission for five years, and has also been deputy chief executive of the London Stock Exchange.



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There are 35 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Wow! I wonder why? A better offer? Fed up with the backbiting and the politics? No doubt we will get the usual anodyne whitewash press release.

  2. Not surprised, he wasn’t really good enough was he ?

    Not that he had to endear himself to the likes of us (tongue firmly in cheek) I certainly wont miss him, but then I do not like the thought of Tracey being in charge either, just another greasy pole climber !

    Viva le revolution !!

  3. Bloody shame – the best man for the job in my opinion.

  4. I somehow doubt that many people out here would agree with Griffiths-Jones’ typically sanctimonious and syrupy platitude that Wheatley’s done “an outstanding job as chief executive setting up and leading the FCA over the last four years”. Examples please.

    Phew, what’s that suffocating stench? Sh*t first and ask questions later.

  5. Martin was a reverse F.I>L>T>H Failed in London Try Hongkong. Now he has failed in both! We do not need a replacement but a wholesale review of what the FCA is meant to be doing, why it is doing it and the budgets it needs and all that requires it to be accountable.

    Will the Chairman be next?

  6. Well, they should be able to save at least £ half a million or more if they pay a ‘realistic’ salary package to his successor.

    Shouldn’t they?

  7. George Williamson 17th July 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I just called the Treasury to ask for an Application Form to apply for the position of Chief Executive of the FCA – to be told it has to be advertised internally within the Civil Service first!! More jobs for the Quangocrats looking after themselves. Does anybody know who will be on the Interview Panel and whether an Adviser should be asked to sit on it?

  8. Julian Stevens 17th July 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Here’s the Hong Kong story

    2008 — when Mr Wheatley was in charge of the Hong Kong regulator, I believe.

  9. The FCA has grown too big, too cumbersome and slow to act. Why does it take them over 4 months to register a qualified, no past issues financial adviser to a firm? When you ask, when something can be actioned they state “within our 90 day agreement period”. Would yo do business with someone who takes over 3 months to respond to a question? I have found the FCA to be slow, reactive and a very poor regulator. Just the FSA with a new name. Same creature, same black spots!

  10. Wheatley says: “I am incredibly proud of all we have achieved together in building the FCA over the last four years. I know that the organisation will build on that strong start and work so that the financial services industry continues to thrive.”

    I must have missed that part…zzzzzzzz

  11. Chris 17th July 2015 at 1:24 pm

    And yet another big severance payout?

  12. Interesting reading: Wheatley in Hong Kong from Wikipedia:

    However, his handling of the Lehman Brothers minibond scandal led to protests by investors who did not receive compensation for their losses.[4]

    Wheatley announced his resignation in December 2010, to be effective in mid-2011, roughly three months before the expiration of his contract. Wheatley’s total compensation package in 2010 amounted to HK$9.09 million, including HK$7.2 million in basic salary, HK$1.35 million in discretionary pay, and HK$540,000 in retirement scheme contributions. He stated that he would return to Europe to take up a position with a regulatory agency there.[7]

    Wheatley was blamed for the minibond fiasco by the 43,000 Hong Kong victims. [8][9] “I had people marching on the streets with banners with photos of me on them saying go home, death of justice, disgrace. I had noise all day outside my office where they would camp with klaxons and drums. I had a funeral effigy of me burnt outside the office.” [10]

    Seems like he upset a few people then – nice work if you can get though!

  13. Julian Stevens 17th July 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Don’t come back Hector ~ Nothing is forgiven.

  14. If his successor is drawn from the gooey list of rung-climbing bureaucrats rather than somebody with both nous and an understanding of the industry then we are no better forward, infact we’ll be worse as we will have funded another 6 months gardening leave

  15. Barry Sturgeon 17th July 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Has done a terrible job for SME’s in allowing the banks to call the tune in IRHP mis-selling compensation. RBS in particular has done its own thing and the FCA have allowed this to happen. Weak leadership from FCA. For a lot of company’s only way to get a chance for fair compensation for mis-selling is to litigate.

  16. Steve Lilleyman 17th July 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Hooray!!!!!! Unfortunately however this dithering idiot will be replaced with yet another!

  17. Soren Lorenson 17th July 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Shoot first and ask questions later
    Good bye

  18. This would be a very good time to undertake a full review of the purpose of the FCA (and FOS & FSCS) and to make them more accountable. At the moment they do not have to answer to anyone and they can treat the TSC with contempt. They can spend money like it is someone else’s (actually it is someone else’s) and there does not seem to be any limit on the amount they can raise. Imagine George Osborn trying to raise the bank levy in the same way the regulators have raised their charges.
    I think it is time all the relevant bodies from the regulators and all parts of the Finance industry sat down and asked themselves the following questions:

    What should be the purpose of a regulator?
    To whom should the regulator be accountable?
    How should it be funded?

    When the above has been decided then it will be possible to determine how to do the job and the appropriate level of training and qualifications (and I mean technical qualifications).

  19. Julian Stevens 17th July 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Chancellor George Osborne says the regulator needs “different leadership”. No, we need a different regulator. And a properly accountable one.

    That aside, isn’t different leadership about the only thing that differentiated the FCA from the FSA? Nothing much else changed, did it?

  20. Just another Posh Boy failure.
    When will they start interviewing people that can do the job and not one picked from the Old Boys network?

  21. The old boys network is teaming with wannabe’s. I imagine the queue is already halfway down Parliament Square.

    The FCA needs to be run by individuals who understand the sector and don’t waver in the face of lobbyists from either the banks or the consumers.

    Anybody who has operated in this industry will be able to isolate problems, often before they become problems, and deal with them in a balanced way.

  22. Julian Stevens 17th July 2015 at 4:01 pm

    So much for “scrapping and replacing” the FSA. It clearly hasn’t done much good, has it? Then again, it wasn’t really scrapping and replacing at all. Just a new name and a few new faces at the top, several of whom seem to have turned out to be at least as bad as any of their predecessors. One wonders if Wheatley’s thinly veiled utter contempt for the TSC might have something to do with his downfall?

    As for the rest of the F-squad, for them it’s been pretty much business as usual for the past four years. Oh well, maybe third time lucky.

  23. Whoever is responsible for the current ageism in the mortgage market should be brought to account. It is virtually impossible for older people to get a mortgage even though their income is more secure than employed income, their equity is usually high, and the mortgage interest charges are much less than rents. Ageist discrimination is shameful!

  24. Ah ha so it was dear old George at Number 11 who put out the plank and told him to walk

  25. So says BBC reporter Kamal Ahmed…I am told that discussions were held with the head of the FCA in recent weeks where it was made clear that the chancellor would not be asking Mr Wheatley to stay on when his contract came up for renewal in March 2016.

    common parlance for “there’s the door” goodbye..

  26. Garry Heath at 12:54, Alan Kendrick at 2:35pm, and Julian Stevens at 2:44 pm yes yes yes. But it is frankly irrelevant who heads up the FCA when it has no accountability to parliament or anyone for that matter. When they can set their own budget, make their own rules and then spend more than they budgeted without any real accountability it just does not matter who is at the head of such an organisation.

  27. Julian Stevens 17th July 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Word reaches me that the TSC is, at long long last, finally seeking from the Treasury enforceable powers over the likes of the FCA so that when someone such as Andrew Tyrie puts to someone like Martin Wheatley the proposition that, at the very least, the FCA has a moral obligation to reimburse the intermediary community for the £18m we were overcharged by the FSA, he (MW) won’t be able to get away with effectively telling AT to GFH. The TSC might also be able to instruct the NAO in no uncertain terms to do considerably more than cast a cursory glance over the FCA’s accounts and sign them off without questioning anything they contain.. What’s clearly needed is not just a bonfire of the quangos but a bonfire of all the bullshit window dressing masquerading as accountability.

    Should the TSC succeed in getting these very much needed enforceable powers, doubtless APFA will try to claim all the credit for having made it happen when, in reality, all it’ll have actually done is write an open letter to the Treasury which will have been largely if not completely ignored.

  28. Perhaps a root and branch clear out is indicated. The senior regulators should be made to spend time,not just a day, with a small IFA firm

  29. Don’t go Martin, stay on and just add your extortionate salary to my FCA fees … I don’t mind ..

  30. Trevor Harrington 18th July 2015 at 9:29 am


    As you rightly say, the list of negatives is much greater than those which you highlight, and I am also struggling to see any positives whatsoever resulting from his tenure.

    Julian, I think you are being kind.

    I also suspect that we are about to discover all sorts of golden handshakes and gifts to the departed, which are only available to him because he has voluntarily “stepped aside”, presumably having been told that he will be fired unless he does so.

    I said the same last year when he magnanimously (apparently) refused his bonus – quite obviously, and as I said at the time, it was simply deferred to the this year, and he has now collected it.

    This sort of outright abuse of public position in this country, is actually not far away from the antics in the public sector in Greece, certainly in the deed if not in the commonality – it has to stop, if we are to avoid similar consequences.

    Abuse of power, is particularly repugnant when it is perpetrated by those who are specifically charged with leading and policing a community. A policeman falsifying his “bad back” in order to gain an enhanced early retirement from an already overly generous pension scheme, is just as criminally fraudulent as a regulatory leader, who refuses to listen, plays out a failed policy, destroys 25% of the businesses in his oversight, pretends to refuse a bonus and then takes it, and worst of all, cocks two fingers at the Treasury Select Committee who are charged with governing this Country.

    Watch out for the next announcement of his severance package ….

    As you said Julian …. we could go on ….

  31. He did have a happy knack of saying silly things and the past pension policy (closed book) review which was announced in the way it was under his watch was probably a highlight (or, lowlight) of his tenure. Sending insurance companies shares tumbling isn’t really in the remit of the FCA me ‘thinks. Problem is we’ll only get another clone who this time will have an instruction from number 11 to go easier on the banks, or the likes of HSBC will be off to somewhere more sympathetic.

  32. Anthony Badaloo 20th July 2015 at 11:22 pm

    He did absolutely nothing about a certain bank committing fraud left right and centre, so I guess he will just on in the circle, to another juicy post.
    Can’t wait for the new guy.

  33. imagine 4 toilet cubicles called the regualtor, politicians, judiciary and police. the 1st 3 are full with- call it what you like; the last is half full but getting there. They all need unblocking, flushing and cleaning. bring in the waste disposal dept!! Roll on the revolution and change the supplier that’s why we had the blockages!

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