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Sants is facing retail challenge

Hector Sants is the FSA’s new chief executive, beating fellow managing directors Clive Briault and David Kenmir and a number of external candidates.

Sants has been managing director, wholesale and institutional markets at the regulator. The appointment of the former investment banker has been widely praised by the City. Aifa director general Chris Cummings says Sants has proved himself a “capable and pragmatic” regulator although he is keen to update him on intermediaries.

Cummings says: “We aim to ensure he has a good understanding on the importance of the intermediary industry to the retail market.”

The FSA says Sants, as a member of senior management, has been involved in important decisions on the retail side since joining the regulator in 2004.

Financial Services Consumer Panel chairman John Howard says the most important tasks facing Sants are the retail distribution review, the move to principle-based regulation and improving retail banking.

He says: “Sants’ previous role was mainly concerned with the wholesale markets. It is the panel’s view that the greatest challenges for the FSA lie in the retail sector.”

Sants joined the FSA in 2004 from Credit Suisse First Boston where he was Europe chief executive. He has a City background and worked for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, UBS and Phillips & Drew and was on the board of the London Stock Exchange.

Current chief executive John Tiner will step down after the FSA’s annual public meeting on Thursday with Sants taking over on Friday.

FSA chairman Callum McCarthy says: “Hector has emerged as the clear choice from a strong field of internal and external candidates.”

Sants says: “I will work with the industry to ensure that market solutions deliver the best outcomes for all stakeholders, with a particular focus on consumers.”


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