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Woolard to leave FCA

Chris Hamblin, Editor, London, 18 September 2020

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Chris Woolard, the acting head of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, will be stepping down from its board shortly. In the meantime he will chair a review of the future regulation of the unsecured credit market.

When he has completed the review, Woolard will move on from the FCA. His period of "gardening leave," during which time he will not take up any external appointment, will last for at least six months after he relinquishes his executive powers.

An ambiguous FCA press release says that Woolard will give up his executive functions "from 1 October." This is coincidentally the date on which Nikhil Rathi will become the permanent chief executive of the FCA.

Woolard joined the FCA in 2013 as part of the executive committee. He has served on the board since 2015 and became interim CEO in March when Andrew Bailey left to become the Governor of the Bank of England. He has ordered studies of the retail banking, asset management and insurance markets and has been the driving force behind Project Innovate, the so-called Regulatory Sandbox and the FCA’s response to the Coronavirus. The FCA has indicated recently that it expects to drop more projects that it had previously thought important but whose value now pales into insignificance in the face of the pandemic.

Tracey McDermott, the last acting CEO of the FCA who did not acquire the permanent headship of the regulatory body, also decided to move on rather than serve under the new head.

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