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UK Financial Watchdog Organization Chair to Step Down a Year Early

The leader of the United Kingdom’s financial watchdog organization has said he will step down in spring 2022, a year earlier than expected, The Guardian reported.

Charles Randell, chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Payment Systems Regulator, was appointed to a five-year term in 2018, according to the report.

The announcement comes as the FCA is dealing with pushback from staff regarding a transformation program, the report stated. The financial regulator has seen plummeting staff morale, rising staff resignations and the launch of a staff petition to recognize a union.

In response to the announcement, a national officer of the union said, per the report, “the FCA leadership needs to make improvements, including dealing with low staff morale.”

These moves follow the FCA’s proposal to cut pay for many staff members and make other changes even as the FCA’s workload has increased due to Brexit, which gave more powers to U.K. regulators, according to the report.

The FCA is also busy restarting initiatives that stalled during the pandemic, the report stated. They are part of the transformation program that was drawn up by FCA’s new CEO, Nikhil Rathi, who joined from the London Stock Exchange a year ago.

“As the FCA prepares to implement its new wholesale, retail and data strategies under an established new executive, now is the right time for a new chair to carry on the close and continuous oversight of our transformation,” Randell wrote in a letter to the chancellor, per the report.

In recent months, the FCA and Randell have made headlines by saying regulators in the U.K. should be given more power to protect consumers from shady cryptocurrency investments promoted online.

Read more: FCA Chair Calls for Stricter Regulations on Platforms Promoting Crypto

In July, the FCA hit Lloyds Bank with the second-largest fine in the agency’s history for allegedly misleading home insurance clients between 2009 and 2017.

See more: Lloyds Bank Hit With Biggest UK Watchdog Fine in Two Years

Also in July, the FCA pointed to a lack of diversity and inclusion in the U.K. financial sector as a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Read more: UK Regulators Targeting Diversity Improvements in Financial Services

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