In theory, the “fit and proper” test set by the City watchdog is a tough examination of the attributes of candidates whom banks put forward for the most sensitive of roles. But figures out yesterday reveal that nearly everyone passes. The regulator stopped just 30 applications from 227,000 – a rejection rate of only 0.013 per cent – in the last six years.
The UK's "fitness and probity" process encompasses senior management and directors, and staff working in compliance, risk and internal audit across all firms authorised by the regulator. The13 criteria include "whether the person has been convicted of any criminal offence" with "particular consideration … given to offences of dishonesty, fraud, financial crime or an offence whether or not in the United Kingdom or other offences under legislation relating ... money laundering".
A spokesman for the Financial Services Authority, just replaced by the incoming Financial Conduct Authority, said: "In addition to 30 applications for approval being formally refused, over 7,000 applications were withdrawn after submission – many of which were after close scrutiny