James Moore: A tried and tested top cop for the City

  • @TheIndyBusiness

Outlook Talking of banking watchdogs, the City has a new top cop. Well, sort of new. Tracey McDermott has been doing the job since early 2011 but was only yesterday allowed to drop the "acting" from her title.

In hiring her, the new Financial Conduct Authority has opted for the tried and tested apparatchik over the flashy external hire; Ms McDermott has worked at the City regulator for more than a decade.

She joined the Financial Services Authority in 2001 when the place was a shambles as Sir Howard Davies grappled with Gordon Brown's insane demand that he ram nine separate regulators into one, the folly of which was laid bare in a succession of scandals. So she has been through some interesting times.

Described as straight, unflashy, competent, she has the respect of the legal community but can also point to some noteworthy achievements: 10 convictions for insider dealing, not to mention that record fine on Barclays.

But she has a challenge: To cement its credibility, the FCA needs to show leadership and rid British regulation of the perception it is forever hanging onto the coat-tails of the Americans. If Ms McDermott can do that, she may well become someone else's flashy external hire.