Banks Hire From Markets Watchdog for Top U.K. Compliance Posts

Jun 11, 2014 5:35 am ET

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley and Banco Santander SA are hiring executives from the U.K. markets regulator for their London operations, as banks look to the watchdog for staff to see them through -- and keep them clear of -- probes.

Matthew Nunan, the Financial Conduct Authority’s head of wholesale enforcement, will leave in August to take a senior compliance role in the New York-based bank’s London office, two people with knowledge of the move said, asking not to be identified because the decision wasn’t public. Sharon Campbell, who stepped down as FCA head of financial crime and intelligence in May, will join Santander’s British unit as director of financial crime next month, according to the bank.

Hiring Campbell “demonstrates our commitment to the proactive management of this very important issue,” Andy Smith, a spokesman for the Spanish lender, said. Tom Walton, a London spokesman for Morgan Stanley, and Nunan declined to comment on his move.

Banks targeted by the markets watchdog have been increasingly hiring its alumni. Six months after settling claims Barclays Plc manipulated interbank offered rates, the bank hired the man who led the watchdog during the probe. Hector Sants joined the London-based lender in 2013 to a newly created job as head of compliance and government and regulatory relations. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc., also fined for rate rigging, named the regulator’s former managing director of supervision Jon Pain as head of conduct and regulatory affairs in August.

‘Best Hires’

“In this new era of increased regulation banks are looking to bring people in-house that can help them be on the front foot,” said Richard Burger, a London-based lawyer who worked in enforcement at the Financial Services Authority, the FCA’s predecessor. “Of course the best people to hire for this are those imposing the rules.”

Still, the recruits don’t always work out. Sants has since resigned from Barclays. The bank named its audit chief, Michael Roemer, to the post in January.

The moves can be good for the regulator as well, Burger said. “Having people in the industry that can act as a conduit for their changes is often viewed positively.”

Lara Joseph, an FCA spokeswoman, declined to comment on the departures.

The Bank of England is also recruiting from the markets regulator. David Bailey, formerly the FCA’s head of markets infrastructure and policy, is joining the central bank as a director in financial markets infrastructure supervision. Edwin Schooling-Latter, who currently leads that division, will move into Bailey’s role at the FCA in a two-year stint, according to a May 30 BOE statement.