UK markets watchdog's interim boss to lead credit market review

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seen at the agency's headquarters in the Canary Wharf business district of London April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said its interim chief executive Christopher Woolard will leave the watchdog next month to chair a review into how credit is regulated in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Woolard has been interim CEO since March after Andrew Bailey left to become governor of the Bank of England. The FCA’s new permanent CEO, Nikhil Rathi, starts in October.

“Chris is a leader, original thinker, innovator and a terrific colleague,” Bailey said in a statement. “He has made a huge contribution to building the FCA, for which he deserves great thanks.”

The FCA said the review will focus on how regulation can better support a healthy unsecured lending market.

“It will take into account the impact of the coronavirus on employment security and credit scores, changes in business models and new developments in unsecured lending including the growth of unregulated products in retail and the workplace,” the FCA said.

Woolard, who joined the watchdog in 2013, will be helped by an advisory group and make recommendations to the FCA in early 2021.

He will step down from the FCA board and any decision-making roles from Oct. 1, and after the review will move on from the watchdog.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Jon Boyle and Peter Graff