The Financial Conduct Authority, the top regulator for financial firms in the United Kingdom, has announced that Martin Wheatley, its chief executive, will leave his post in September. Wheatley will continue to act as an adviser to the FCA Board until Jan. 31, 2016.
In 2013, Wheatley, former managing director of the now-defunct Financial Services Authority’s Conduct Business Unit, was selected to head the soon-to-be created FCA. His tenure at the new agency was marked by both big money enforcement actions and internal strife. The latter reportedly contributed to his departure.
In a statement, Finance Minister George Osborne said that Wheatley had done “an outstanding job…setting up and leading the FCA over the last four years.” Nevertheless, in separate comments, Osborne expressed the need for fresh leadership. London media accounts detail that Osborne made it clear that Wheatley’s contract would not be renewed when it expires in March 2016, prompting his decision to make an early departure.
Director of Supervision Tracey McDermott, who has gained international prominence in recent weeks after high-profile enforcement actions against big banks over manipulation of the LIBOR exchange rate, will take over as acting head of the agency while the search for Wheatley’s permanent replacement is underway.