BARCLAYS confirmed yesterday that Sir Hector Sants, the former boss of the City regulator, has turned full circle by joining the board of the banking industry’s main lobbying group.
Sants, who joined Barclays earlier this year as its head of compliance and government and regulatory relations, will attend his first board meeting of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) in the autumn.
A spokesman for Barclays said: “That’s right. It is not a secret. The BBA is a member organisation and banks have members on its board.
“Sir Hector’s role, with its remit covering regulatory compliance and government affairs, fits naturally with the work of the BBA. We don’t think it is anything to get excited about.”
Analysts said the appointment might give the BBA more clout in its dealings with Britain’s new regulators, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, given Sants’ own regulatory background. He left the world of investment banking to join the now-disbanded Financial Services Authority (FSA) in a senior role in 2004.
Sants became chief executive of the FSA three years later, before enduring a baptism of fire, including the collapse of Northern Rock in September 2007 and the demise of Lehman Brothers a year later.
Sants replaces Matt Hammerstein, who has moved to a new role in Barclays’ retail operations, as the bank’s BBA board representative. The BBA was unavailable for comment.
Each of the main UK high street banks nominates a director of the BBA, as well as a number of international banks with a major UK footprint.
Sants’ move on to the BBA board comes as the industry’s trade body attempts to re-engineer its role, partly due to the loss of its position in setting the interbank borrowing rate, Libor.
That loss was sparked by the Libor-manipulation scandal, when bank traders rigged benchmark rates at which banks lend to each other that also underpin the terms of trillions of pounds of financial contracts, including mortgages.