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FSA picks fined firms’ bosses to advise on screening applicants for industry top jobs

The FSA last week appointed Nomura chairman Colin Marshall as a senior adviser on corporate governance just two days after it fined the firm £1.75m for system and control failings.

The appointment is one of five senior advisers the FSA has appointed to work on governance and authorisation under its new intensive supervision of significant influence functions within firms. They include an adviser to UBS, a director of Carphone Warehouse and an adviser to Morgan Stanley, all firms which have been fined by the FSA.

Marshall joined Nomura as chairman in 2004. The failings identified by the FSA took place between January and July 2008. The FSA has also appoin- ted Sir David Scholey. He is an adviser to UBS, which was fined £8m this month for system and control failings that allowed unauthorised trades to take place and losses to be attributed to customer accounts.

Sir Brian Pitman is another of the new team. Since 2001, he has been senior independent director of Carphone Warehouse, which was fined £245,000 by the FSA in 2006 for not treat- ing customers fairly in sales of phone insurance. He is also senior adviser at Morgan Stanley which was fined £1.4m in May for system and control failings.

The new advisers are to join the FSA’s significant influence function interview panels to offer guidance on approving candidates, although final decisions will be made by FSA directors.

The other senior advisers appointed are Baroness Hogg, non-executive chairman of 3i Group and deputy chair of the Financial Reporting Council, and Sir Dominic Cadbury who was non-executive chairman of Misys from 2006 to 2009 and previously chairman of Cadbury Schweppes.

FSA chief executive Hector Sants says: “These new advisers have extensive experience on the boards of major companies and in senior policy positions and will bring valuable insight to the work the FSA is pursuing on governance. We can continue to ensure those taking up top jobs are the right calibre to lead and challenge the management of the UK’s top firms.”

Email Mortgages chief executive officer Michael White says: ” The difficulty is with fairly sizeable firms there are parts doing well and other parts not doing things correctly so it is not the people themselves I object to, it is more the insensitivity of these appointments in terms of their nature and timing that I am angry about.”

Calculis director Alex Pegley says: “I am lost for words. This is a standard case of the FSA not caring about public opinion.”

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