Shake-up strengthens Tiner's grip at City regulator

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The Independent Online

After just six weeks as chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, John Tiner yesterday reshaped the organisation to centralise power in his hands.

At the heart of the new regime will be three business units covering regulatory services, retail markets and wholesale and institutional markets, each run by a managing director on a salary package worth £300,000 a year. The reorganisation will take effect next April.

Mr Tiner said: "The new structure, which builds on the many successful characteristics of our present organisation and embraces a risk-based approach, will enable more delegation of responsibility, speed of action and focus on the critical issues and will make it easier for firms and consumers to do business with us.

"It will also position us to effectively handle the many thousands of new regulated firms who will fall within our remit when the mortgage and general insurance regimes are introduced in late 2004 and early 2005 respectively. We also need to ensure that our management structure puts us in the best possible position to achieve our vision of maintaining efficient, orderly and clean financial markets and helping retail consumers achieve a fair deal."

In addition, the key Enforcement Division and a new Finance, Strategy and Risk Division will report directly to Mr Tiner. He has pledged to simplify the organisation's structure and beef up its approach to consumer protection following a series of scandals, such as that over split capital investment trusts.

A lower tier of sector leaders will report to all three business units. These will cover banking, capital markets, asset management, insurance, retail intermediaries, financial stability and business continuity, consumers and financial crime.

The High Street Firms Division will remain in its current form with the same responsibilities it has now until the first quarter of 2005. Its functions will then be integrated into the relevant business units.

The existing three managing directorships will be vacant by next spring. Mr Tiner has not replaced himself as head of consumer, investments and insurance; Carol Sergeant resigned last week as head of risk to go to Lloyds TSB; and Michael Foot, the head of deposit takers and markets, is to retire.

The FSA also invited applications for mortgage and general insurance businesses to be authorised when the watchdog takes responsibility for these areas. Firms can either be directly authorised or become an appointed representative of an authorised firm.

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