FCA appoints executive directors to co-lead Enforcement and Market Oversight

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed Therese Chambers and Steve Smart as joint Executive Directors of Enforcement and Market Oversight.

The expansion of the FCA’s enforcement and market oversight leadership team, following Mark Steward’s departure, reflects the vital role that enforcement work plays in delivering its 3 year strategy and its commitments to reducing the growth in financial crime, ensuring consumer outcomes meet the higher standards of the New Consumer Duty, stepping in where firms restrict competition and much more. Recent market events have underlined the importance of effective market oversight to support financial stability.

The appointment of Therese and Steve to co-lead the Enforcement and Market Oversight Division will also support the FCA’s ongoing transformation to become a more assertive, more adaptive and more innovative regulator. Together they bring a highly complementary skillset, with Therese’s extensive regulatory, supervisory and legal experience combined with Steve’s criminal enforcement, investigatory, intelligence and security experience.

Our business plan to be published next month will continue our programme of investment in our enforcement and market oversight capabilities as part of an integrated FCA approach.

Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the FCA, said:

‘Enforcement is a key regulatory tool allowing us to hold firms and individuals to account for wrongdoing and helping to reduce and prevent serious harm to consumers and in markets. We are committed to acting faster and more effectively, putting the power of technology, data and intelligence at the heart of our enforcement operations. Therese and Steve will be a powerful combination, bringing a complementary skillset, which will enable us to do just that. I thank Mark again for his remarkable seven years of service.’

Therese Chambers brings many years of experience, having worked at the FCA for over 20 years. She spent most of those years working in enforcement, including as Director of Retail and Regulatory Investigations. She is currently the Director of Consumer Investments in the Supervision, Policy and Competition Division. Commenting on her appointment, she said:

‘The work of the Enforcement and Market Oversight division is of critical importance in supporting the FCA’s Strategy and we will continue to build out our assertive and proactive approach. I look forward to working with colleagues on ExCo and across the FCA as we increasingly use our powers to protect consumers and tackle harm.’

Steve Smart joins from the National Crime Agency, where he sits on the Executive Committee as Director of Intelligence, leading a division of over 2000 people. Steve has also worked in the private sector where he led the development of an integrated intelligence and investigations department in a major banking group. Steve said:

‘I’m really excited to be joining the FCA. It is a great opportunity to put my experience of leading and developing proactive operational functions and working with partners in the police, wider law enforcement and counterparts overseas to help the FCA to continue to prevent serious harm; set higher standards; and promote competition.’

Therese Chambers will take on the role of Executive Director on 1 April 2023. Steve Smart will join on 21 June 2023. Mark Steward will leave the FCA on 13 April 2023.

The FCA has also announced the creation of a single legal function headed by current General Counsel Stephen Braviner-Roman. This will bring together the General Counsel Division and the legal group, which currently sits within Enforcement and Market Oversight, in a single unified legal division to ensure a joined up legal capability working across the organisation.

Sarah Pritchard will take over executive responsibility for the FCA’s international work once Mark Steward leaves, in addition to her existing role as Executive Director, Markets, in the Supervision, Policy and Competition Division. This reflects the FCA’s commitment to deepening international cooperation and enhancing its reach to ensure that it is a globally effective regulator, actively shaping the international rulebook.

The new appointments mean the FCA’s executive committee will have 9 members, comprising 5 women and 4 men, including 3 from minority ethnic backgrounds.

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