HM Treasury has announced the appointment of Ashley Alder, the head of Hong Kong’s securities watchdog, as chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
He is expected to take up his role in January 2023 for a five year term, succeeding interim chairman Richard Lloyd.
Lloyd, who ran consumer watchdog Which? for five years until 2016, held the position at the helm since Charles Randell stepped down in May this year.
Alder, who was in the running to become chief executive of the FCA two years ago, comes on board after a turbulent few years for the UK’s financial watchdog, and as it battles employee strikes over pay and conditions.
He is currently chief executive of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong and chairs the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
The former lawyer also previously held senior roles at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.
“It’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to Chair the FCA, whose core work is so vital to the financial health of consumers,” he said.
“I also value the opportunity to contribute to a crucial phase in the FCA’s history as it helps chart the UK’s post-Brexit future as a global financial centre which continues to support innovation and competition through its own world-leading regulatory standards.”
HM Treasury also announced the reappointments of Liam Coleman and Dr Alice Maynard to the board of the FCA. Their second three-year terms as non-executive directors will commence on 5 November.
Coleman is currently chairman of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has held a variety of roles spanning retail, commercial and wholesale banking.
Maynard has worked in the field of diversity and inclusion for 30 years and coaches senior leaders in inclusive leadership alongside her board and advisory roles.
The FCA is the conduct regulator for around 51,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK.
In 2019, the City watchdog was criticised for its handling of two major consumer scandals — the £236m ($281.7m) collapse of London Capital & Finance, which sold unregulated minibonds on investors, and failure of Neil Woodford’s equity fund.
It has also found itself battling with staff since the appointment of Nikhil Rathi as chief executive in 2020, replacing Andrew Bailey who went on to become governor of the Bank of England (BoE).
This led to a walkout this year amid a row over pay.