This month sees former chief executive of the FCA Andrew Bailey pick up the mantle as Governor of the Bank of England (BoE) in what is a divisive move.
While the news of Bailey's appointment to succeed incumbent Governor Mark Carney on 16 March was welcomed by many when it was announced in December, the string of regulatory scandals under Bailey's watch at the FCA has prompted some to question his suitability for the top job at the BoE.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact Bailey was hired by former Chancellor Sajid Javid, who has since stepped down in a shock move, while Bailey's appointment also put the kibosh on any hopes the Bank would be helmed by a female governor for the first time in
Indeed, the Treasury had hired a recruitment firm specialising in placing women in top jobs, with former CEO of Newton Investment Management Helena Morrissey a notable contender for the role.
Bailey's impending governorship was brought to the fore recently when investment manager and campaigner Gina Miller lambasted Bailey for the FCA's failings at the launch of an investigative report into the UK financial services sector, during which she called for new Chancellor Rishi Sunak to review Bailey's appointment as the new BoE Governor.
Miller did not pull any punches, describing Bailey's appointment as "a gross betrayal of the Government's duty to protect consumers" and laying the blame for recent scandals such as 300,000 Woodford IM investors losing over £1bn and the suspension of the £2.5bn M&G Property fund firmly at Bailey's feet.
However, despite support from high-profile figures such as Sir Vince Cable, the report did not deter the Treasury, which countered the claims and issued a statement saying that "with nearly 40 years of experience in UK monetary and financial policy, [Bailey's] record speaks for itself". The BoE declined to comment.
While Bailey's new £500,000 role seems secure, questions remain as to if and when the FCA will be held to account for the catalogue of shortcomings detailed in Miller's report and who will fill Bailey's shoes at the FCA on a more permanent basis, with Christopher Woolard holding the position for the interim.
Meanwhile, in a recent Big Question Ellie Duncan asks what Bailey can do to make the BoE a more open and diverse place to work once he lands at the central bank. It is hoped he will continue the measures put in motion by Carney a year ago and "walk the walk" when it comes to hiring new deputy governors, who are currently all white men.
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