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MPs call for veto power over FCA chief exec appointment

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  • 26/02/2016
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MPs call for veto power over FCA chief exec appointment
Members of the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) have demanded the power to veto major appointments and dismissals within some of financial services’ key institutions.

Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the TSC (pictured), said the public should have confidence that the government was not interfering with independent supervisors and regulators.

Members of the committee have tabled an amendment to the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill which would allow MPs a veto over the appointment and dismissal of the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Last year Martin Wheatley stepped down as chief executive of the FCA after it was rumoured he had been ‘forced out’ by George Osborne, who had refused to renew his board membership at the regulator.

Following weeks of speculation, the FCA announced in January that Andrew Bailey, deputy governor of prudential regulation at the Bank of England and chief executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority would take over from Wheatley as the financial regulator’s chief executive.

The committee’s report on ‘scrutiny of appointments’ recommends that pre-appointment hearings should take place for the chief executive of the FCA, with the appointment entrenched by a statutory veto on appointments and dismissals to the post.

In the report, Tyrie has also outlined the need for scrutiny of top appointments at the Bank of England, Office for Tax Simplification and the Prudential Regulation Committee.

Tyrie said that public appointments to quangos have needed rigorous scrutiny “for years”.

“More of the most powerful appointments – of the chief executive of the FCA and the governor of the Bank of England – should be subject to full pre-appointment scrutiny. The government continues to disagree, appealing to the ‘market sensitivity’ of these appointments. That is not an adequate explanation,” he said.

“The time has come to entrench the independence of the post of chief executive of the FCA. The chief executive of the FCA should be able to operate with the confidence that he or she cannot be dismissed without parliament’s – the treasury committee’s – approval. The public, too, need to have confidence that the government is not interfering with independent supervisors and regulators.”

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