On 22 June 2020, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced that Nikhil Rathi will be the new Chief Executive of the FCA.
Rathi will succeed Christopher Woolard, who acted as interim Chief Executive since Andrew Bailey took his position as the Governor of the Bank of England on 16 March 2020. For further background see Enforcement Watch 30 Christopher Woolard Appointed Interim Chief Executive of the FCA.
Rathi is quoted in HM Treasury's press release, see here, saying that: "we will create together an even more diverse organisation, supporting the recovery with a special focus on vulnerable consumers, embracing new technology, playing our part in tackling climate change, enforcing high standards and ensuring the UK is a thought leader in international regulatory discussions." This is generally in line with the FCA's Business Plan 2020/2021, see Enforcement Watch 31 FCA Business Plan 2020/2021: Notable Enforcement Themes.
Rathi's recent background is as Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange plc and, prior to this, as Director, Financial Services Group at HM Treasury. His global outlook coupled with his knowledge of the inner workings of government may be key in working through, among other things, the COVID-19 debt burden consequences and limiting the damage of Brexit to the UK's competitiveness as a global financial centre. His challenge may be in the consumer protection space where he may not be as well versed.
On 22 July 2020, Rathi went before the Treasury Select Committee. In regard to a question about delays in in Enforcement cases, he said: "The question is: are there ways of looking at best practice from elsewhere in the world so that we can speed those things up?" Rathi wants the FCA to be "tough, assertive, thoughtful, decisive and working at pace with agility and hyperactivity". We look forward to seeing how the FCA develops under his stewardship.