FCA chief feared criticism over former head taking bank job

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Former acting FCA chief Tracey McDermott, now at Standard Chartered

FCA chief Andrew Bailey expressed private concerns to the boss of Standard Chartered that hiring his predecessor would draw accusations of a “revolving door” between the regulator and the private sector.

Emails obtain by The Times show Bailey was concerned about how failing to communicate the restrictions on the role Tracey McDermott would take up at the Asia-focused bank after serving as interim head of the regulator would draw criticism from MPs.

McDermott was acting head of the FCA from September 2015 to July last year after then Chancellor George Osborne declined to renew previous boss Martin Wheatley’s contract. Former Prudential Regulation Authority head Bailey was then picked for the role full time after McDermott ruled herself out.

McDermott joined Standard Chartered as group head of corporate, public and regulatory affairs in March, with a number of letters drafted confirming the limits of her role.

However, these were not published immediately, which drew concern from Bailey.

Writing to Standard Chartered boss Bill Winters, Bailey said: “We are in a difficult position now that I understand you have confirmed Tracey’s appointment in a statement but made no reference to the exchange of letters…We risk a reaction from the Treasury select committee for instance. We need to get the letters out asap.”

The day after Bailey’s email, a letter was published confirming McDermott “will not share…confidential information that she received or obtained from her work at the FCA.”

The Treasury select committee still voiced concerns about the appointment however, including SNP MP George Kerevan , who said it was “deep concern that a former head of the FCA has gone through the revolving door to become chief lobbyist for Standard Chartered”.