The Financial Conduct Authority has turned to the Home Office to find a new director for its international division.
Ruairi O’Connell currently holds the same role in the government department and was previously the British ambassador to Kosovo.
O’Connell will be tasked with continuing to deal with regulatory issues arising from Brexit, as well as increasing engagement between the UK markets watchdog and its international peers.
The FCA’s international team “was the focus of everything on Brexit… This will rise again with the future regulatory framework”, the government’s plan to return full control of UK regulation to the regulator national, a senior FCA employee told Financial News.
The FCA created a dedicated Brexit team in 2016 to form part of the international division. In its international roles, staffing has since doubled as the regulator has sought to collaborate more with other international watchdogs on best practice.
From signing ‘memoranda of understanding’ with foreign agencies to make it easier for companies to get permits, to creating a temporary permit scheme for EU companies looking to continue trading in the UK after of Brexit, the international division has had a number of problems to sit. through the last few years.
“International regulatory cooperation with other supervisors and global standard-setting bodies is increasingly vital: working towards the same outcomes as other regulators allows us to defer more and avoid duplication of regulatory requirements,” said Nikhil Rathi , chief executive of the FCA, in a 2021 Address, noting that areas such as ESG and financial crime also benefit from better cross-border collaboration.
In 2018, the chief executive of Nausicaa Delfas International was given a seat on the regulator’s executive committee “because of the importance the FCA places on international engagement”.
Meanwhile, tensions over the future of regulation with the EU continue. The European Central Bank has ordered international banks to transfer more resources to the bloc in its recent desk-mapping exercise. While the European Commission has temporarily granted an extension of regulatory equivalence to clearing, it has made no secret of its desire to see more business come to the block in the future.
The FCA continues to become a more internationalist regulator, experts say. Hong Kong regulator Ashley Alder will take over as chair of the FCA in January, following in the footsteps of other senior staff with overseas backgrounds, including Mark Steward, chief executive of enforcement, and counsel delegate Martin Wheatley, who had vigilante experience. in Australia and Hong Kong respectively
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