FSA appoints senior advisors

Nia Williams

November 27, 2009

These advisors will provide input into developing the FSA’s regulatory framework for ensuring effective governance in financial institutions, and will also contribute to the panel interview process for individuals wishing to take up major board positions in the UK’s largest financial institutions.

The new advisors are: Sir Dominic Cadbury, Baroness Hogg, Lord Marshall, Sir Brian Pitman and Sir David Scholey.

As part of its new intensive approach to supervision the FSA has made clear that it is now seeking to judge competence as well as probity with regard to individuals holding significant influence functions (SIFs). In October the FSA wrote to firms to reinforce how its intensive regulatory approach applied to the FSA’s vetting of individuals applying for roles classed as SIFs. This included details about the SIF interview process conducted by a senior panel drawn from the FSA executive and its existing advisory group. These interviews are used to judge the competence and capability of those applying for influential positions within regulated firms.

In future, for key roles in the largest firms, the FSA panel will be joined by one of the new appointees, who will act in an advisory capacity. This is likely to apply to candidates for chair, chief executive, senior independent director and the chair of audit, remuneration and risk committees, particularly in the banking and insurance sector.

The new advisors, whose primary focus is on governance and competency, will work with the existing senior advisors who provide specialist input on specific technical areas.

Hector Sants, FSA chief executive said: “These new advisors have extensive experience acting on the boards of major companies and in senior policy positions and will bring valuable insight to the work the FSA is pursuing on governance.

“In adding this board expertise to our SIF interview panel, we can continue to ensure those taking up top jobs are the right calibre to lead and challenge the management of the UK’s top firms.”

These appointments will take place with effect from January 2010. The new advisors will work with Graeme Ashley-Fenn, FSA director of permissions, decisions and reporting who has responsibility for the SIF approval regime.

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