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New approach could veto senior appointments

FSA chief executive Hector Sants has said that the new regulatory approach to staff competency may not have allowed former HBOS director of group risk Jo Dawson to be hired by the bank.

At last Wednesday’s Treasury select committee meeting, Sants detailed new competency standards set by the FSA on hiring senior staff for UK banks.

He said: “There is a change in our approach now. Our former process was primarily focused on probity and there was not historically a competency review done, the view was taken that it was the firm’s role to decide. We are changing that approach and will be judging competency for significant senior appointments at larger institutions, an interview process has now been established.”

MPs jumped on this claim, citing the appointment of Dawson, who former HBOS chief executive Andy Hornby admitted had no “formal” risk qualifications.

MP for Morley and Rothwell, Colin Challen asked Sants: “In this instance, it was the company’s decision but you may well say, no, you do not recognise that person as a fit and proper person for the job?”

Sants replied: “Quite so.”

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