FCA strengthens enforcement leadership

This double appointment followed the departure of Mark Steward after seven years in the role. Steward will leave the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on 13 April. His departure was first announced in October last year.

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The FCA said the expansion of the leadership team reflected the “vital role” that enforcement played in delivering its three-year strategy.

It added it reflected its commitment to cutting financial crime and ensuring consumer outcomes met Consumer Duty requirements.

Recent market events have underlined the importance of effective market oversight to support financial stability, the FCA said.

FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi said: “Enforcement is a key regulatory tool allowing us to hold firms and individuals to account for wrongdoing and helping to reduce and prevent serious harm to consumers and in markets. 

“We are committed to acting faster and more effectively, putting the power of technology, data and intelligence at the heart of our enforcement operations. Therese and Steve will be a powerful combination, bringing a complementary skillset, which will enable us to do just that. I thank Mark again for his remarkable seven years of service.”

Chambers, who starts in her new role on 1 April, has worked at the regulator for more than 20 years. She is currently director of consumer investments in the supervisory division.

She said: “The work of the enforcement and market oversight division is of critical importance in supporting the FCA’s Strategy and we will continue to build out our assertive and proactive approach. I look forward to working with colleagues on ExCo and across the FCA as we increasingly use our powers to protect consumers and tackle harm.”

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Smart joins the FCA from the National Crime Agency, where he sits on the executive   committee as director of intelligence, leading a division of more than 2,000 people.

He has also worked in the private sector where he led the development of an integrated intelligence and investigations department in a major banking group.

Smart commented: “I am really excited to be joining the FCA. It is a great opportunity to put my experience of leading and developing proactive operational functions and working with partners in the police, wider law enforcement and counterparts overseas to help the FCA to continue to prevent serious harm; set higher standards; and promote competition.”

Smart will join on 21 June.

The FCA also announced the creation of a single legal function headed by current general counsel Stephen Braviner-Roman.

It said this would bring together the general counsel division and the legal group, which currently sits within enforcement and market oversight, in a “single unified legal division to ensure a joined up legal capability working across the organisation”.

Elsewhere, it said Sarah Pritchard would take over executive responsibility for the FCA’s international work once Steward leaves, in addition to her existing role as executive director, markets, in the supervision, policy and competition division.

The watchdog pointed out the new appointments meant its executive committee would have nine members, made up of five women and four men, including three from minority ethnic backgrounds.

It is business plan is due to be published next month.

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