Quick about-turn as Sants goes from FSA to Barclays

The former head of the Financial Services Authority Hector Sants was yesterday appointed head of compliance at Barclays in one of the swiftest turnarounds from regulator to regulated.

Mr Sants will join Barclays in late January, six months after he quit as chief executive of the FSA and the regulator landed the bank with a £59.5m fine for allegedly rigging the key Libor interest rate. That cost Bob Diamond and Marcus Agius their jobs as chief executive and chairman of Barclays.

Mr Sants will report directly to Barclays' new chief executive, Antony Jenkins. He will also take responsibility for the bank's relationships with governments and regulators around the world. His pay will not be disclosed because he will be an executive but not a main board director. At the FSA he was paid just over £800,000 in his final full year.

Mr Sants said: "I left the FSA with the intention of finding a role which would allow me to put into practice the experience I have gained in both the public and private sector. Taking on the responsibility of leading Barclays' global compliance function, and overseeing the bank's relationships with governments and regulators, gives me that opportunity. I am delighted to have been asked by Antony Jenkins to create and implement a new compliance concept and approach which will be central to the cultural change which is already under way at the bank."

In September correspondence revealed that Mr Sants raised concerns about Mr Diamond's appointment as chief executive with Mr Agius. Mr Sants, 56, has been on six months' gardening leave paid for by the FSA.

Mr Jenkins said: "Relationships with our regulators and governments around the world are obviously also of critical importance to us. We must apply a renewed leadership focus on these to make them as constructive and productive as possible."

Barclays' new chairman, Sir David Walker, also came from a regulatory background, having chaired the pre-FSA Securities and Investments Board.

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