The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made Therese Chambers and Steve Smart its joint executive directors of enforcement and market oversight.

It says their appointment support’s the FCA’s “transformation to become a more assertive, more adaptive and more innovative regulator” and its view that enforcement work plays in delivering its three year strategy and its commitments to reducing the growth in financial crime, ensuring consumer outcomes meet the higher standards of the New Consumer Duty, and stepping in where firms restrict competition.

Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the FCA, said: “Enforcement is a key regulatory tool allowing us to hold firms and individuals to account for wrongdoing and helping to reduce and prevent serious harm to consumers and in markets.

“We are committed to acting faster and more effectively, putting the power of technology, data and intelligence at the heart of our enforcement operations. Therese and Steve will be a powerful combination, bringing a complementary skillset, which will enable us to do just that.”

Chambers has worked at the FCA for over 20 years, mostly in enforcement, including as director of retail and regulatory investigations.

Smart joins from the National Crime Agency, where he sits on the executive committee as director of intelligence, leading a division of over 2000 people. He has also worked in the private sector where he led the development of an integrated intelligence and investigations department in a major banking group.

“I’m really excited to be joining the FCA. It is a great opportunity to put my experience of leading and developing proactive operational functions and working with partners in the police, wider law enforcement and counterparts overseas to help the FCA to continue to prevent serious harm; set higher standards; and promote competition,” Smart said.

They replace Mark Steward, who leaves the FCA on April 13.

In January the FCA warned firms that some stood to miss its July 31 deadline for the start of the Consumer Duty as some have underestimated the changes required from its current regime.

The FCA, whose business plan to be published next month will continue its programme of investment in enforcement and market oversight capabilities, also announced the creation of a single legal function headed by current general counsel Stephen Braviner-Roman.

Sarah Pritchard will take over executive responsibility for the FCA’s international work once Mark Steward leaves, in addition to her existing role as executive director, markets, in the supervision, policy and competition division.

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