The chancellor Sajid Javid has confirmed that the FCA’s chief executive, Andrew Bailey, will replace Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England in March.
The long-expected announcement came this morning (December 20) as Javid said: “We were looking for a leader of international standing with expertise across monetary, economic and regulatory matters. In Andrew Bailey that is who we have appointed.”
Bailey has seen off competition from the likes of Ben Broadbent, who had started his career at the Treasury and overseen macro-economic policy at the Bank of England, and Baroness Shriti Vadera, chair of Santander since 2015.
Sir Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor for financial stability at the central bank, was also in the running.
But in a statement issued today, the Bank of England said Bailey was “the stand-out candidate in a competitive field,” adding that he’s the “right person to lead the bank as the country forges a new future outside the EU.”
Accepting the role, Bailey expressed his commitment to the bank being an “accessible and approachable institution, as well as an open and diverse place to work.”
He said: “It is a tremendous honour to be chosen to have the opportunity to serve the people of the United Kingdom, particularly at such a critical time for the nation as we leave the European Union.”
He added: “The bank has a very important job and, as governor, I will continue the work that Mark Carney has done to ensure that it has the public interest at the heart of everything it does.
“It is important to me that the bank continues to work for the public by maintaining monetary and financial stability and ensuring financial institutions are safe and sound.”
The chancellor thanked Carney for his service, saying: “The intellect, rigour and leadership he brought to the role during a critical time was a significant contribution to the UK economy moving to recovery and growth.”
A previous deputy governor at the Bank of England, Bailey brings three decades of service across all policy areas of the central bank.
He gained respect and gravitas for his leadership managing the financial crisis, developing the new regulatory frameworks, and supporting financial innovation.
The subject of many profiles today, Bailey is renowned for composed responses and experience in the nadir of the financial crisis. He was involved in the 2008 government rescue of RBS and HBOS. In a previous interview with a national newspaper, he told the following anecdote from his time at the BoE in 2008: "The (RBS) treasurer, John Cummins, came in and I thought he was going to have a heart attack. He looked at me and said, I need £25bn today, can you do it? I said, ’Yes, I can do that,".
After this period Bailey took on the role of the BoE’s first deputy governor for prudential regulation, serving between 2013 and 2016.
While his tenure as FCA chief executive was notable for the regulator’s actions on short-term high-cost credit, credit cards, overdrafts, PPI, debt management firms and arrears management in mortgages, he appeared to adopt a different approach to his predecessor’s "shoot first, ask questions later" policy.
He also launched a consultation that suggested the regulator may look at a more proportionate approach in future, asking for views on the criteria on which the FCA acted, and how it decided "where the FCA placed its emphasis."
As trade bodies continue to push for a more proportionate approach, those calls will now be directed to a successor.