The National Consumer Council has blasted the Government for its recruitment methods to the new Financial Services Authority.
It believes there has been a blatant flouting of the Nolan principles on standards in public life, published in 1995.
The Nolan report states that staff and board members should be recruited on merit using an open, democratic procedure.
The FSA has denied any wrongdoing. It says the recruitment process is administered by the Bank of Eng- land and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
NCC senior policy officer Harriet Hall says: "We were surprised to see that the old SIB is now the FSA plus one or two others. I really think we were expecting the board of the FSA to be appointed in the same way as our own board, which is based on the Nolan principles."