Tracey McDermott, acting chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) decided in early December to withdraw from the process to appoint the permanent chief executive, the FCA confirmed at lunchtime today.
This follows recent stories from various media outlets, who jumped the gun and declared McDermott as Martin Wheatley’s successor.
The regulator’s statement came after a BBC Radio 4 Today interview with George Osborne this morning, when the chancellor said she would not get the job full time.
Osborne said: “Martin Wheatley did a good job setting up the organisation but I think it needs new leadership to – and by the way this is a brand new consumer regulator that I have set up, which didn’t previously exist – but I think it needs new leadership to take it into its more mature phase where it has been established and we’re looking now for the very best candidate.
“To be fair there is a very effective interim leader in Tracey McDermott [who] has been doing a good job – she doesn’t want the job full time.”
“I have been at the FSA/FCA for 15 years and I remain extremely committed to, and passionate about, the important work we do,” McDermott said. “It has been, and remains, a privilege to lead this organisation. However, going through the recruitment process has made me reflect on what I want to do with the rest of my career.
“As a result I have decided that this is not the right job for me at this stage of my career. This was a decision taken after many months of careful thought and was not one that I took lightly.”
The FCA added that the Treasury-led recruitment process is ongoing and that McDermott will continue as acting chief executive until a permanent replacement is in post.
FCA Chairman John Griffith-Jones added: “Tracey’s stewardship of the FCA as acting chief executive has served to build on an impressive reputation created during her time leading various divisions across the FCA. Over the last few months I have enjoyed working closely with Tracey and have appreciated both her advice and leadership of the organisation.
“I understand and respect the decision Tracey has made. The board I and will continue to work together with her until the new chief executive is in post.”