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Large's departure leaves gap at SIB

The Securities and Investments Board has begun the search for a new chairman after Sir Andrew Large, the present office-holder, said yesterday he would not serve another term despite being asked to stay on.

Sir Andrew said that after five years at the helm he felt it was time to move on. "I was charged to oversee the implementation of evolutionary change outlined in my 1993 review [of financial service regulation]," he said. "The bulk of this is now complete. So this is a logical time for a change of chairman. The main unfinished piece of business is the unsatisfactory rate of progress on the pensions review. This will be a key focal point for me in my remaining period of office."

Both Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor, and Eddie George, Governor of the Bank of England, said they regretted Sir Andrew's decision to go on 31 May, despite being asked to remain, as first revealed in The Independent last year.

Sir Andrew's departure brings to an end five years of unprecedented regulatory change for the financial services industry and the City. As SIB chairman, Sir Andrew oversaw several key reforms including more disclosure of financial information. He set in train a clean-up of the personal pensions industry after a review showed up to 1.5 million people might have been mis-sold a personal pension.