The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) interim chief executive Christopher Woolard is set to move on from the City regulator, after completing a review of the unsecured credit market.
Woolard (pictured) joined the FCA in 2013, served on the board since 2015 and became interim chief executive in March this year. He has led the FCA’s strategy and competition work, as well as its interest in fintech, Project Innovate and its regulatory sandbox.
He has been an influential figure in the peer-to-peer lending sector, having overseen the introduction of stricter regulations last December after a lengthy post-implementation review. He was included on P2PFN’s P2P Power 50 list last year, which notes the most prominent figures in the industry.
Before his departure, Woolard is set to lead an FCA review into 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.
He will be assisted by an advisory group and will make recommendations to the FCA board in early 2021.
The review will support the FCA’s consumer credit business priority, which it announced as part of its 2020/21 business plan in April of this year and which seeks to ensure that consumer credit markets work well.
“It has been a tremendous honour to serve as chief executive of the FCA at such a critical time for the country and financial services,” said Woolard.
“I’d like to thank my many colleagues over the last eight years for all their help and support. I am delighted to be asked to lead a timely and significant review where access to sustainable credit is of great importance to so many people.”
Woolard is set to step down from the FCA board and any executive or decision-making roles from 1 October 2020.
As previously announced, Nikhil Rathi will become permanent chief executive of the FCA.
Following the completion of the review, Mr Woolard will be moving on from the FCA. He will not take up any external appointment until at least six months after the end of his executive role, the announcement said.
“I am grateful for Chris’s contribution to the FCA, particularly during the last six months as he has led us through the coronavirus crisis with huge energy and skill,” said FCA chair Charles Randell.
“Chris’s deep understanding of the unsecured credit market makes him the ideal person to advise the board on the development of regulation to support sustainable unsecured lending. Unsecured lending can be critical to helping people through tough times but can cause serious harm if it’s not well regulated.”