FCA hires Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission CEO as its chair

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The Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, Ashley Alder, will take over as chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K.

The U.K. Treasury announced on Friday that it had chosen Alder to lead the nation’s financial watchdog from January 2023. He will replace Richard Lloyd, interim FCA chair, who took the position after Charles Randell left in May.

Alder has served as the chairman of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Authority since 2011. Decentralized finance, according to an IOSCO assessment from March, was “a novel and fast-growing area of financial services,” but it created significant concerns as the sector evolved.

In his acceptance letter to lead the financial watchdog, Alder stated that the FCA would help plan the U.K.’s post-Brexit path as a global financial center that seeks to foster competition and innovation through its own world-leading regulatory standards. Approximately 51,000 financial services companies and financial markets are under the watchful eye of the U.K. regulator.

FCA to recruit 500 employees this year

Alder’s hire coincided with the announcement by FCA that it will be recruiting 500 more employees in 2022 as part of a three-year plan that involves “proactively [shaping] the digitalization of financial services through developing our regulatory approaches to digital markets.” Notably, In March, the FCA said that it is looking for crypto expertise in its upcoming crypto department. Starting in October, National Crime Agency’s Matthew Long will take over as director of the FCA’s payments and digital assets division.

In response to news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson elevated former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher to a key position while being aware of groping allegations, the U.K. government saw a wave of resignations during the past week. Following resignation letters from more than 50 parliamentarians, including UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Treasury Economic Secretary John Glen, Johnson announced his resignation on Thursday.

Sarah Pritchard, the executive director of FCA, recently said that the agency would keep the recent stablecoin depegging in mind while drafting crypto regulations.

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