Sants says he never wanted to head FSA

SA chief executive Hector Sants says he never wanted to head the regulator and is only in the role because he was persuaded to apply.

Sants was quizzed this week by the Treasury select committee over the regulator’s supervision of Royal Bank of Scotland in the run-up to the bank’s near collapse.

Sants told MPs he had no intention of replacing John Tiner as chief executive as it was not a role he “particularly wanted to take on”. He said: “I did not join the FSA with the intention of  being the chief executive. I did not expect John Tiner to leave, I was not originally intending to apply for the job, I was persuaded to do so.”

Sants said he decided to stay on to oversee the transition to the new regulatory restructure on the basis that he was the best person for the job.

He will take the role as the Prudential Regulation Authority chief executive next year.

The TSC is to question Sants further on his handling of the RBS crisis ahead of backing his appointment at the PRA.

In the same session, FSA chairman Lord Adair Turner admitted the regulator made a mistake in not initially publishing a full account of its investigation into RBS.

He said: “I entirely accept we were sticking to the existing procedures and not being imaginative enough in realising that this would require a wider public accountability report. That was a mistake.”

Sants called for changes to regulatory powers so that in future the regulator can intervene where it sees senior management making mistakes on the scale that happened at RBS.