The long-serving boss of Hong Kong’s monetary watchdog is the main candidate to turn into the subsequent chair of the UK’s Monetary Conduct Authority (FCA).
Sky Information has learnt that Ashley Alder, who has run the Securities and Futures Fee (SFC) since 2011, has been in talks about taking up from Charles Randell, who left the Metropolis regulator earlier this yr.
It was unclear on Thursday whether or not Mr Alder had formally accepted the FCA chairmanship, or whether or not the appointment might be delayed by the turmoil surrounding Boris Johnson’s resignation as prime minister.
Mr Alder would, nonetheless, signify a high-calibre selection for the position.
Steeped within the element of worldwide monetary regulation, he has run the SFC since 2011, and likewise chairs the Worldwide Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
His present time period on the SFC expires in September subsequent yr, though it’s possible that if he’s appointed to the FCA position, he would depart the Hong Kong regulator previous to that date.
The FCA chair is appointed by the Treasury, with the approval of each the chancellor and prime minister often required.
This week’s disaster in Westminster noticed each Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and John Glen, the Metropolis minister, step down from their roles in protest at Mr Johnson’s leadership.
Nadhim Zahawi, the previous training secretary, was appointed to succeed Mr Sunak, though he too called for the PM to step down on Thursday morning.
Chairing the FCA is without doubt one of the most essential roles in financial regulation in Britain, with the watchdog accountable for supervising tens of 1000’s of corporations.
The FCA has adopted an more and more vocal method to corporations’ remedy of consumers because the cost-of-living disaster deepens, whereas it’s also grappling with points such because the speedy development in cryptocurrencies and the proliferation of buy-now, pay-later credit score suppliers.
Underneath Nikhil Rathi, it has additionally been battling inner strife amid complaints from FCA workers about their pay.
In 2020, Mr Alder was among the many candidates shortlisted to turn into chief govt of the FCA, earlier than the job went to Mr Rathi.
Mr Randell’s departure from the FCA – a yr earlier than the top of his time period – was introduced final October.
The Metropolis watchdog was closely criticised for its supervision of London Capital & Finance, a collapsed minibond issuer, and has been grappling with main points regarding the regulation of cryptocurrencies and purchase now pay later credit score suppliers.
Since Mr Randell’s departure, Richard Lloyd, who ran Which? for 5 years till 2016, has stepped in because the FCA’s interim chairman.
The appointment of a long-term successor will make the FCA the most recent in a string of key financial regulators within the UK to get contemporary management.
The Competitors and Markets Authority, Monetary Reporting Council, Ofcom and Ofwat have all seen the arrival of recent chairs in current months.
The Treasury declined to remark.