Treasury appoints lawyer Charles Randell as Financial Conduct Authority chair

The Treasury has appointed veteran lawyer Charles Randell as head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), making him the UK watchdog's second chair since its formation in 2013.

Mr Randell will also lead the Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) and will step into both roles on April 1.

It ends John Griffith-Jones' tenure as chair of FCA, which stretches back to the financial supervisor's founding in April 2013.

Mr Randell joins the FCA after a long stint as a lawyer at Slaughter and May from 1980 to 2013, having specialised in corporate finance law and taken on a string of bank restructuring assignments that saw him advise the Treasury on the resolution of Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and Icelandic banks.

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He also worked on the Government's bailout of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds/HBOS, as well as the Asset Protection Scheme.

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said: "His experience of regulation, both during the financial crisis and more recently as a member of the Prudential Regulation Committee, mean that he has a strong understanding of the challenges that the FCA faces and I look forward to tackling these with him in his new role."

Mr Randell currently serves as an external member of the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Committee (PRC), but will formally step down before taking up the FCA and PSR positions.

He is also a non-executive board member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy but no announcement has yet been made over whether he will continue this position.

Mr Randell said: "I'm very honoured to have the opportunity to chair the FCA and the PSR. They do vital work in delivering a stable and trusted system of financial regulation which protects consumers while supporting innovation, competition and growth.

"I look forward to working with colleagues at both organisations as they continue their mission."

Chancellor Philip Hammond commended outgoing chair Mr Griffith-Jones for his service.

"He has been instrumental in establishing the FCA and PSR as highly effective organisations which are critical parts of the UK financial regulatory system," Mr Hammond said.

"I wish him all the best for the future."

The Treasury would not provide details on the number of applications put forward for the role, which were due late last year.

Andrew Tyrie, best known for his time as chairman of the influential Treasury Select Committee, was widely expected to be a contender for FCA chair.

Mr Hammond said: "Charles has a wealth of relevant experience, and I am sure that he will prove to be a strong leader at this very important time."