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Hector Sants awarded knighthood

Hector Sants 480

Former FSA chief executive Hector Sants has been knighted as part of the New Year Honours for 2013.

Sants (pictured), who left the regulator in June, was recognised for services to financial services and regulation.

It emerged earlier this month Sants was joining Barclays as head of compliance and government and regulatory relations, reportedly on a pay package of up to £3m. He is set to join the bank on January 21.

Since leaving the FSA, Sants has been on paid gardening leave earning an annual £500,000 salary plus benefits.

The New Year Honours list has also recognised former Office for Budget Responsibility chairman Sir Alan Budd. Budd has been awarded the knights grand cross of the Order of the British Empire for services to economic policy and the OBR.

Budd, who is also a founding member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, stepped down from the OBR in July 2010 after just three months as chairman.

He told the Treasury Select Committee before stepping down it was “certainly not his intention” to mislead anyone about how long he would stay in the role, amid concerns about the independence of the economic body’s forecasts.

Also in the Honours for 2013 was former Legal and General chief executive and Association of British Insurers chairman Tim Breedon, who was awarded an OBE for services to the insurance industry.

Treasury financial stability director Mridul Hegde has been made a dame for services to the stabilisation of the British banking system while KPMG director Teresa Sienkowicz has been awarded an OBE for services to the accountancy and pensions professions.


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There are 71 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I geniunely assumed the Sants Knighthood story was a hoax!

  2. According to

    The honours system recognises people who’ve made great achievements in public life and people who’ve committed themselves to serving Britain. They will usually have made life better for other people or been outstanding at what they do. People get honours for achievements like:

    * making a [positive] difference to their community or field of work

    * enhancing Britain’s reputation

    * long-term voluntary service

    * innovation and entrepreneurship

    * changing things, with an emphasis on achievement

    * improving life for people less able to help themselves

    * displaying moral courage and vision in making and delivering tough choices.

    On quite which of those criteria Hector Sants qualified for his knighthood I must confess I’m somewhat hard put to fathom. Thoughts anyone?

  3. Sants profile in the Guardian, when he first assumed control of the FSA, stated that he’d achieved two of his three career objectives and the third was a knighthood.

    I hesitate to say that there are lesser deserved gongs, because we all know that the system is a fraud designed to reward the good old boys who ‘play the game’, however if the reward of failure is a knighthood then we can expect m,any, many more winging their way towards E14.

  4. Not one media commentator has supported this award. The public reaction has been acidic.
    For once we aren’t alone.

  5. But isn’t it nice to see that the honours system equally rewards abject failure as well as outstanding success?

    The citation will make interesting reading.

  6. Neil F LIversidge 31st December 2012 at 10:55 am

    It’s still the season of good will. So congratulations Hector and Happy New Year!

  7. Alistair Paterson 31st December 2012 at 10:56 am

    Good grief, Charlie Brown, good grief …..

  8. Like everyone else I am absolutely appalled by this honour. Sants is both arrogant and incompetent, an extremely dangerous combination. He was head of an inept regulator and his legacy is one of a financial services industry in terminal decline, and where more and more people will buy the wrong financial products from the ever increasing number of non advised companies.

  9. Disgusting, just go’s to show greed, bullies & corruption gets the country’s highest honours, Mugabe, Goodwin Archer etc etc etc now they deemed it fit to add Sants.

    I am ashamed.

  10. Why oh why has this not become a major scandall in the press, on the face of it he has overseen massive failures in all aspects of regulation.
    Barclays has significantly lower fines than any of the other comparable banks…… It seems very fishy to me that Barclays saves millions in comparable fines and the person with significant influence is on their payroll??????!!!!!!!

  11. Maybe Fred Goodwin should get his knighthood back he only brought RBS down Sants has brought the financial services in this country down

  12. Unfortunately, and much as I would like to, one can’t blame Hecto for this one.


    If he had a shred of decency he would not accept it.

    I have written to my MP and advised him that I will no longer vote Conservative. The individual who nominated him for the honours list and the collection of individuals who rubber stamped it should resign in shame.

    Maybe we can hope that Her Majesty will simply refuse to knight him.

  13. Roman Duzinkewycz 31st December 2012 at 11:09 am

    Words fail me with regard to this award and I agree with all of the other comments posted, particularly the one about rewarding ‘abject failure’. This has got to be a wind up surely? The lesson to learn for us all is that it is a complete waste of time voicing any kind of comment, positive or not. ‘They’ (whoever ‘they’ are) are not listening and do not care about anyone and anything apart from themselves – I am now more interested in finding out whose backside I need to get close to get ‘equal’ treatment. Absolute disgrace.

  14. Handing out an honour to him is totally debasing the Honours System and unfortunately indicates how corrupt our overall society has become

  15. Absolute shocker, “services to financial regulation”, on gardeing leabve at £1/2 million of the public purse, the man has no shame whatsoever. this is what you get for being at the tiller when the ship went down, massive award for massive failure. must really stick in the throat of the 800barclays people made redundant just before xmas as cost cuttin!

  16. I wonder who put him forward for the ‘honour’: Tory, Labour, LibDem, Civil Service, Private Individual? It would be interesting if MM could find out and publish the details. Whoever proposed him should be in the public domain and asked to justify why.

  17. This elevation is totally unjustified and is hard to explain other than part of a going away package.
    How can any criteria be put together which paints the FSA debacle as being a success to be rewarded. Why is he still being paid £500,000 of industry money when he resigned. More inexplicable is why Barclays would want to pay him that much in such a high profile role. These sorts of events are why our industry is held in such low regard

  18. Didnt the Queen make some negative comment about the FSA that was picked up and broadcast om the news?

    Maybe HM will swing the sharp end of the sword sufficiently to immediately make him a Knight without a head!

  19. Disgusting cronyism at its worst !!!

  20. …the final kick in the teeth…just when you thought you had seen it all…I thought this news story was a joke when it first did the rounds, it is absolutely astonishing that a Knighthood has been awarded…!

  21. Appalled from Hampshire 31st December 2012 at 11:20 am

    Hector Sants should have been sacked for gross misconduct the day after the last General Election. Amongst his many other failings, the issuing of a warning to all FSA staff that they should vote Labour to protect their jobs was a gross misuse of the power of his role (FSA staff received this in an email from him on the eve of the election).

    For him now to receive a knighthood is utterly wrong.

    As others have said, he has overseen a period that will be looked back on as one that has seen significant damage to the financial services industry. The RDR had all but been agreed when he joined the regulator and he put it on hold so that he could change it to suit his own preferences. The legislation and rules that have resulted from this are completely at odds with the remit of the review when it was first announced.

    I would also be interested to know whether he informed Barclays of his impending honour during contract negotiations for his new role. Hat must have been worth a few extra quid!

  22. Britain is worse than a banana republic in that Banana republics do not pretend to be otherwise.
    We will not have to wait long for that other long winded balloon who writes for MM to say Sants knighthood is well deserved.

  23. Disreputable and Corrupt – the honors system should be scrapped immediately, and this particular one should be the subject of a Public Enquiry!

  24. Barclays saves hundreds of millions in fines compared to other Banks.
    Job well done and a Knighthood. It stinks

  25. Lost for words and just shows how out of touch those in power are!!!

  26. Just obscene – words fail me for once!

    Banana Republic is about as accurate as can be.

  27. Oh my Gawd!

    What a farce!

    This diminishes further the crediblity of the system.

    At least Bradley had to work hard, make sacrifices, and be the best in world to get his.

  28. Becoming a headcase IFA 31st December 2012 at 11:34 am

    If ever the populace needed a reminder of how corrupt this country REALLY is then Sants Knighthood is it.

    Talk about banana republic.

  29. My FSA fees and levy have financed this mans lifestyle for several years. And even now he is still earning plenty while on gardening leave. He has acheived nothing but failure.

    I strongly object to him receiving this honor, I would like to see a poll of financial services professionals and see how many votes for or against?

    Not that he cares as he steps into a £3 million a year job, he does not give a monkeys.

  30. Google Hector Sants FSA, Julia Middleton Common purpose, Dame Deirdre Hutton, FSA (food standards agency) and ask yourself why they had a meeting of mutual Interest, back in 2009, this will link you directly to it.
    Then look up I think you will then understand what is really going on.
    Every time I see something that is unbelievable I just google it and add common purpose. It is not a conspiracy theory, it is a conspiracy!

  31. wow – imagine what he would have gotten if he had been even a tiny bit competent ……….

  32. ha,ha,ha; 1st January is the new 1st April

    Bring on Sir Wayne Rooney, the honours system is as bust as the financial services system that Sir Hector oversaw!

  33. I strongly suspect this honour was not only offered as a reward for staying at the FSA but it is also supposed to represent closure for the British public with regard to what the financially fortunate, the powerful and the completely detached appear to be regarding as merely a series of unfortunate events in the banking sector. They seem to have completely overlooked the fact that it is extremely difficult to believe this kind of spin when the majority of us are up to our armpits in the consequences of bank bailouts, austerity measures not to mention fighting fraudulent bankers. Seems cloud cuckoo land has a growing number of inhabitants who have no idea their constituents are still gripped by financial suffering as a direct result of un-policed,unregulated and unbridled banking greed all of which occurred on Mr Sant’s watch. I wrote this in disgust.

  34. The Times on saturday described this award as “controversial”. The Daily Mail on saturday described it as “controversial”. BBC TV News described it as “controversial”.

    We are clearly not alone in wondering why abject failure has been rewarded with a knighthood

  35. Said individual is listed on the FSA register as inactive (pause while I sew up my sides that have split!!).

    I wonder if Barclays will have to make an application for reauthorisation and that will take nearly 6 months.

    But hang on – has the wee chappie passed all of his exams????? to get to QCF level 4.

  36. The only good news is that today is the last day we pay his £400,000 6 months gardening leave reward.

  37. In view of this award, it is now clearly a greater honour to be excluded from the list.

    Many have evidently forgotten that he was about to step down a few years ago and was persuaded to stay. The quid pro quo was then, as we see today, the gong. It rather points to a certain childish vanity that those on stupendous incomes covet this rather anachronistic escutcheon. How much more deserving for those to receive who have not sought it.

  38. When I started working thirty years ago, I would have wagered a months salary that the UK was at it’s core, a pretty straight and honest place to live and work. Sadly I now realise that somewhere along the line, if that was ever the case, it isn’t any more. A very sad day indeed.

  39. If ever there was an example of a corrupt honours system designed to reward the establishment this has to be up there with the best. I will never refer to this man as Sir as he is so undeserving of this honour it is simply breath taking and proves beyond doubt he only left the FSA as his name had become tarred with the mark of failure. This was probably promised to him if he stood down and kept his mouth shut. The damage he oversaw is yet to be seen in full and with only hours to RDR I despair at where I find myself. Great Britain, you’re having a laugh.

  40. This knighthood deminsrates the depth of cronyism and the extent of corruption in our society and in the financial area espeacially. This is a dangerous man whose actions will continue to wreck havoc with the economy and peoples lives
    The man who castigated commission now receives payment for doing nothing, before moving on to help Barclays avoid, or minimise, the results of their previous illegal actions. Misselling is illegal, and so is abbetting a criminal act, or the concealment of the act. This abuse of power makes you wonder where he now is in the line of sucession.

  41. FSA Gravy train buffet car serves up final course…
    next train departing Barclays Express with a considerably lightened load thanks to Santa Hector

  42. That ‘s it my Boy Scout badges are going back !

  43. Martin Luther famously said “It is neither safe nor prudent to do aught against conscience.”If Mr Sants reflects on that then maybe he’ll have the decency not to show up, but my breath is not held.

  44. One can only hope that as with Goodwin, when the scandal that is RDR is finally reviewed and quantified in about a years time when the next FSA review will then start his title might be rescinded because of the then cleared picture of failure.

    Alas…too late for the damage to have taken place to our industry and it’s customers.

    Did I not hear recently from Right Hon D Cameron that honors should not go to people who were paid to carry out their jobs!!!

  45. As Mr Sants is going to work for Barclays, no doubt he will continue his crusade to clamp down on bankers’ bonuses – I’m not holding my breath!

  46. A nice but wildly misguided man.

    Bureaucracy is the modern version of anarchy designed to bring down the State.

    Who needs to take the risk of terrorism when you can have more (negative) effect AND be highly paid and regarded as a bureaucrat?

  47. I hate to state the bleedin obvious but the sheer number of comments just proves that this knighthood is an absolute farce. Sants really does put the hood in Knighthood…

  48. It’s really sad that the UK has come to this, rewarding a complete failure with a Knighthood. Sants should have been banned from holding any financial services office. I wonder why Barclays paid smaller fines and also what the other head of compliance earned? I have asked BBC Panorama to look into Sants tenure at the FSA, his failures, his reasons for “taking his eye off the ball” (self confessed), presiding over the massive bank failures and over regulating IFAs. Please do the same and contact BBC Panorama to investigate as these things need to ‘come out’ and be made public. Our country has gone to the dogs and the government as we know are sleezebags – expenses scandal etc. Democracy is a distant notion with the ‘old boys’ (all parties) greasing each others palms (with few exceptions). I just can’t say how upset I am.

  49. This is a sick joke giving a man like Mr Sants this award is a sick joke as he has let down millions of good people and put there lives into misery for many years to come
    Mr Cameron PM Why do you keep rewarding failure.

  50. Sir Hector Sants 1st January 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you to Neil Liversidge for your kind words. Unfortunately I do not have the inclination to reply to the rest of you with your jealous and snide remarks.

    And hopefully today’s date hasnt escaped you. 1st Jan 2013. RDR is officially here people. Call it my little parting gift to the IFA community.

    Happy new year.


  51. People who are offered ‘honours’ should think very carefully before accepting as a kind of reverse effect is now happening.

    In that, those such as Danny Boyle, who turn down these things, find their reputations are enhanced amongst everyday people.

    Real honour is quite difficult to find these days.

  52. Honours should go to the individuals who genuinely make a difference and who are passionate about the industry. Vote Ken Davy for a Knighthood next year!

  53. From now, the offer of a knighthood is an insult…

  54. Have I just fallen down a rabbit-hole, or something? This is some sort of peverse joke, right?
    Crikey! I’ll have to rely on “off with his head” then and hope that Her Majesty’s sword slips.
    This is really sick! (The award that is, not the sword quip.)

  55. A disgrace.

  56. Don’t just botch about it do something! Sign the petition against… share with your friends

  57. Absolutely disgusting, saw this yesterday and screamed in rage. This and people getting knighthoods for winning a race or two.

    We need a reason for his knighthood and who agreed it.

  58. By way of comparison, I have a friend who is so meticulous about his job as a banqueting manager at a prestigious venue, that, in the morning, before the conference started, he checked all the equipment and noticed the lectern was slightly out of place from where he left it. On closer inspection he discovered a bomb attached to the lectern. The bomb was defused and MP William Waldegrave, who was due to speak at the conference, and other eminent people, were spared the inconvenience of an IRA bomb exploding in the room. My friend saved the lives of many important people that day. This was in 1995. He has not received any honour or recognition.

  59. Sir Hector Sants | 1 Jan 2013 7:25 pm

    Lol. The giveaway is even a prize pillock like H Sants wouldn’t dare call himself Sir before her Maj had shoved the sword up his …. Nice try.

  60. Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Hector Sants: sublime to the ridiculous!

  61. Here is the proof that ‘they are all in this together’
    Osborne rewards another ‘bum chum’ for destroying financial advice so we can only assume that this is what the treasury wanted all along

  62. “All in this together”. Same snouts in the same trough.

  63. Paul Standerwick 2nd January 2013 at 3:41 pm

    what a disgrace, did he actually do anything right?

  64. Dont worry it was Jimmy Savilles

    Ha Ha

  65. Welcome to the club, Sir Hector!

  66. In 1990 Sants was on the board of UBS when they sacked and sued their head researcher for disclosing what seemed to be abuses of accounting practice.

    It is talked about in this article from 2005:

    ‘Yet he blushes when asked to talk about the link and refuses to do so. Eventually, he says, “The only thing I would say, as a former analyst, is that the piece of research was an excellent one.” ‘

    This guy really is a class act.

  67. An absolute disgrace. I am totally disgusted that this idiot who has ruined the economy, peoples savings pensions and investments should be rewarded. If there was any justice in this world he would be jailed. I will be changing my banking from Barclays after 50 years thanks to him.

  68. Surely Sants deserves a greater honour than Goodwin. Goodwins destruction is minor by Sants standards. Sants will have greesed far more palms.

  69. Manish Chaurasiya 4th March 2013 at 11:06 am

    The UK government still gets its pound of flesh, as it taxes your pension when you withdraw it, even if you no longer live in the UK. That may seem inequitable for those expats living abroad in a low or no- tax country. it is also very rare in internet that is why it was very difficult to understand.
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