Former head of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission Martin Wheatley has been appointed chief executive of the Consumer Protection and Markets Authority.
Wheatley will join the FSA as managing director of its consumer and markets business unit from September bef-ore heading the CPMA when it is set up by the end of 2012.
He was chief executive of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission for five years and was previously deputy chief executive of the London Stock Exchange. He has sat on the FSA’s listing authority advisory committee.
Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “He has financial services experience but it is not like he has any UK retail market experience. That might not be a bad thing but we do not know yet.”
Wheatley oversaw 170 convictions for market manip- ulation in the last three years at the Hong Kong regulator.
Hall says that Wheatley’s success in cracking down on these transgressions sugg- ests he might be good for the UK market.
After the collapse of Leman Brothers, the SFC came in for criticism after local people accused Hong Kong banks of misselling Lehman-backed products. They held rallies and burnt pictures of Wheatley.
He responded by saying it is “a slippery slope” to try to judge which products are suitable for all investors. The SFC agreed that one local bank should pay out around £50m in compensation without admitting liability.
PanaceaIFA chief executive Derek Bradley says: “The protests may have been a reflection on the fact Hong Kong markets are controlled by powerful, politically influential locals. I am sure this experience will help when setting up the CPMA.”
ARK Financial Planning chartered financial planner Phil Stevenson says: “He should recognise the IFA as the pre-eminent distribution chan- nel and ensure he listens to the concerns of advisers.”