Will the FCA look to ASIC’s Greg Medcraft as its new chief?

The question on who will succeed Martin Wheatley at the helm of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been open since July, when George Osborne, the chancellor, refused to renew Mr Wheatley’s term on the FCA board and, thus, the search process for a new chief executive started.

A potential candidate for the top regulatory role appears to be Greg Medcraft, chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), according to a report by the Financial Times. The report, which refers to three people familiar with the matter, says that Mr Medcraft has been approached by headhunters over the top role at the FCA.

The Australian Financial Review was told by financial market sources in July that Mr Medcraft was being considered for the position of a chief executive of the FCA, but at the time a person close to the ASIC chairman denied the information.

FCA_logo“The big question is whether George [Osborne] will want to work with him,” said one person close to the situation, quoted by the FT. Mr Wheatley’s tough approach regarding banks is dubbed to be among the reasons for the chancellor’s decision not to renew his term at the FCA.

There are questions whether Mr Medcraft, a former investment banker at Société Générale in Australia and New York, who also heads the global group of securities regulators, IOSCO, would adopt a softer approach towards banks than Wheatley. The FT refers to an interview with him in June, where he says that banks “betrayed the trust of the world”.

Mr Medcraft is not the single candidate for the top role. Other candidates whose names have surfaced (none of these has been confirmed, however) include Andy Haldane and Minouche Shafik at the Bank of England, as well as Elizabeth Corley, the head of Allianz Global Investors.

It is not yet clear whether Tracey McDermott, the acting chief executive of the FCA, would apply for the role.

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