City watchdog hires Home Office director to lead international work

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed Ruairi O’Connell OBE as its new director of international.

O’Connell joins the financial watchdog from the Home Office where he was director, international for nearly two years, according to Linkedin.

He previously worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over a decade, where he served in many roles, including as British ambassador to Kosovo between 2015 and 2019.

He will be responsible for shaping the regulator’s international strategy, overseeing international engagement including across Brexit matters.

The announcement comes shortly after six new directors were appointed, a move which the FCA said was needed for it to meet goals set out in its “ambitious” three-year strategy, launched in April.

“I am pleased to welcome Ruairi to the FCA’s new senior leadership team to lead our international work, where he brings with him extensive experience of international affairs, security and strategy,” said FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi.

The FCA has been busy on the domestic front of late, with a number of regulatory changes.

It recently unveiled new rules to hold authorized financial firms accountable for their appointed representatives (ARs).

Under the new rules, principal firms will need to apply enhanced oversight of their ARs, including ensuring they have adequate systems, controls and resources in place.

And last month it published its much-anticipated Consumer Duty, a document outlining how regulated firms, including peer-to-peer lending platforms, can better serve and protect customers.

The Duty will include requirements for firms to end unjustified charges and fees and make it easier to switch or cancel products and ensure helpful and accessible customer support is provided.

It named chief executive of the Securities and Futures Commission (DFC) in Hong Kong, Ashley Alder, as its new chair last month.

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