Charles Randell, the Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), plans to step down in Spring 2022.
It’s a year short of his five-year term. Randell took up his role as Chair of the FCA and PSR Boards in April 2018. He will not be moving to any other position – and his departure comes amidst some problems for the FCA.
The Observer recently revealed that the FCA was accused of failing from “top to bottom” after a string of scandals, yet managed to pay out bonuses of more than £125 million to its staff since 2016.
Campaigners said the payouts at the FCA were an “absolute insult” to savers who had lost their life savings because of the regulator’s systemic failings.
Meanwhile, the Independent reported that staff at the FCA launched a formal petition for union recognition following months of growing disenchantment with the regulator’s leadership.
According to the trade union Unite, staff want to be represented by an independent trade union after new pay proposals will leave three out of four workers facing pay cuts of 10%.
Naturally, today’s (15 October) official statement from the FCA about Randell’s departure remains positive.
Randell comments: “As the FCA prepares to implement its new wholesale, retail and data strategies under an established new executive, now is the right time for a new Chair to carry on the close and continuous oversight of our transformation.
“During the pandemic, the FCA stood up for consumers and businesses, while the markets we oversee proved resilient, laying the foundations for record capital raising to support the recovery.”
The FCA also had to deal with the UK’s departure from the EU – and try and help consumers and businesses through such a difficult time.
Over the same period, the PSR improved protections to prevent payment scams, including introducing the Confirmation of Payee. This year, the PSR says it proposed a strategy designed to make sure payment systems work well for the long-term and set out its interim findings in a competition case in the pre-paid cards market.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, thanked Randell for his work during this “important period”.