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Sergeant oversees regulator&#39s risk-based approach

Like Michael Foot, Carol Sergeant hails from the Bank of England.

Sergeant, one of three managing directors at the regulator, is responsible for regulatory processes and risk directorate, a role she assumed on June 1. She has control over authorisation, enforcement as well as the new risk-assessment division for the FSA.

It is her team that dec-ides which firms and individuals will become authorised to conduct business. On the enforcement front, Sergeant&#39s group can hand out written warnings, fines, intervene in a firm&#39s activities or, in the most extreme cases, deauthorise a firm.

The risk-based approach is the key to the new regulator. Firms have been given a risk rating and the amount of time the FSA spends dealing with a firm is directly related to where they fall in the risk spectrum, meaning the FSA can concentrate its resources on where they are most needed.

Sergeant is also responsible for the regulatory themes which the FSA will focus on each year. Last year, there were four themes – money laundering, the impact of low inflation, treating customers fairly after the point of sale and e-commerce.

This year&#39s themes are harnessing market forces and issues surrounding the ageing population.

Prior to being promoted to her current position, Sergeant was most recently director for change management. Before that, she was briefly the first director of the risk-based division and prior to that was director of banks and building societies after her appointment to the FSA in 1998.

In her time at the Bank of England from 1974 to 1998, Sergeant worked at various times in the international research divisions, the foreign exchange, capital market and money market divisions, where she was part of the team when sterling joined and subsequently left the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

Sergeant also worked at the financial supervision division, where she helped to negotiate the international agreements on minimum capital requirements for banks leading up to the 1988 Basle Accord.

Her last job at the BoE before her departure was as head of the major UK banks supervision division.

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