Martin Wheatley standing down as head of FCA

There is now a global search for a new head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after it was announced that Martin Wheatley will be standing down.

“The FCA today announced that Martin Wheatley is to stand down as Chief Executive with effect from September 12, 2015,” it said in a statement.

Wheatley’s four-year term had been due to end in March 2016.

The FCA said in a statement on Friday that he will be replaced temporarily by Tracey McDermott, the regulator’s former enforcement chief.

Wheatley said in a statement that he was “incredibly proud of all we have achieved together in building the FCA”.

He added: “I know that the organisation will build on that strong start and work so that the financial services industry continues to thrive.”

John Griffith-Jones, Chairman of the FCA said:

“Martin has done an outstanding job as Chief Executive setting up and leading the FCA over the last four years. We owe him a lot and I and my Board would like to thank him for his great efforts in setting up the organisation and for the contribution he has made to putting conduct so firmly at the top of the financial services agenda.

“We all wish Martin well and I am pleased that we will continue to benefit from his wisdom and expertise over the next few months.”

Osborne praised Wheatley’s work

Chancellor George Osborne praised Wheatley’s work in launching the FCA in 2013 after its predecessor the Financial Services Authority was split in two.

Chief Executive Martin Wheatley

Martin Wheatley is to stand down as Chief Executive with effect from September 12 2015.

Osborne said in a statement:

“The government is launching a worldwide search; Martin’s replacement will, like him, need to be passionate about protecting consumers, promoting competition and completing the job of cleaning up the City, so it is the best-regulated market in the world,”

“Britain needs a tough, strong financial conduct regulator. Martin Wheatley has done a brilliant job of launching the FCA in tough circumstances,” he added.

Finding a high quality successor is the next move

Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the Treasury committee, said that Wheatley stood up to take the role at a very challenging time.

“He was faced with the challenge of changing the culture of both the regulated community and the regulator, given the exposure by the crisis of the shortcomings of the FSA.

“With the interests of millions of consumers to protect, tens of thousands of firms to regulate and the need to secure more competition in the financial services sector, it will be essential to find a high quality successor.”

Wheatley will remain an adviser to the FCA board until January 2016. Before joining the FCA he held various roles including Deputy Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange Group plc and sat on the FSA’s Listing Authority Advisory Committee.