The Financial Services Authority yesterday named John Tiner, currently head of its insurance and consumer division, as its new chief executive to replace Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the watchdog who will step down in September.
Mr Tiner, 46, has been one of the FSA's rising stars since he joined in 2001 and was widely tipped for the top job as part of the body's decision to split the roles of chairman and chief executive, both of which are currently held by Sir Howard.
Mr Tiner's promotion is likely to trigger a reshuffle of the upper echelons of the FSA. Carol Sergeant, who along with Mr Tiner is a managing director of the regulator with responsibility for regulation enforcement, also went for the chief executive's post and it is not clear whether she will stay on. Michael Foot, the third managing director, is due to retire next year.
Mr Tiner has a reputation as a moderniser keen on a light touch to regulation and has already moved the FSA towards a "risk-based approach", whereby large companies with many customers are scrutinised more than smaller ones that would have a smaller impact on the public if they went under.
Mr Tiner made clear that further changes would follow, saying in an e-mail to FSA staff: "The move to a structure with a chairman and separate chief executive means that we need to revisit the way in which we are organised, including the various processes we have for decision-making."
The FSA came under heavy fire for its handling of various issues such as the collapse of Equitable Life, the mis-selling of mortgage endowments and the collapse of many split capital investment trusts.
Mick McAteer, senior adviser at the Consumers' Association, said: "The FSA seems to have lost its way on the big issues. They do not seem to realise the extent to which consumer confidence in financial services has collapsed."
Mr Tiner, a former Andersen accountant, is, nonetheless, well respected in industry circles. Mary Francis, the director-general of the Association of British Insurers, said: "John is tough but realistic. It is a good appointment."
The FSA would not disclose Mr Tiner's salary in his new role. Last year he was the body's second highest-paid director after Sir Howard, earning £361,904.
Mr Tiner, who lives in Dorking, Surrey, will work closely with Callum McCarthy, the incoming chairman of the FSA, who joins from the energy regulator Ofgem.Reuse content