Senior PIA official resigns

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The Independent Online
One of its most senior officials responsible for pension compensation and compliance at the Personal Investment Authority, the frontline financial regulator, has resigned, it emerged yesterday, writes Nic Cicutti.

David Cranston, formerly head of member relations at the regulator, left abruptly on Friday. A PIA spokeswoman claimed yesterday that he left to "pursue other business interests", but was unable to say what they were.

She was not prepared to say whether Mr Cranston had served out part of his notice period, but added: "He leaves with our thanks and good wishes." He is being replaced by Roger Bright, who moves over from the regulator's finance and operations division.

Mr Cranston's job at the PIA placed him in charge of ensuring that its members were fully involved in resolving the pension mis-selling scandal. Barely 10 per cent of cases have been dealt with.

A former military helicopter pilot, he was also responsible for making sure that the regulator's staff dealt with tens of thousands of cases inherited from former members that had gone bust. Earlier this week, it was revealed that just one person whose case was being dealt with by the PIA had been compensated.

Sources inside the PIA said Mr Cranston, who joined the regulator about two years ago, was being blamed for its failure to resolve the compensation problem. His relative inexperience within the financial industry, it was suggested, meant that Mr Cranston relied heavily on his executive assistant, Carmel Kelly, for advice.