The chairman of the City watchdog has decided to step down next year, adding a search for new oversight of the financial services industry to a Treasury workload already stretched by Brexit.
Sky News has learnt that John Griffith-Jones will not seek a new period at the helm of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when his current five-year term expires next April.
An announcement about the hunt for a new chairman could come as soon as this week, sources said on Sunday.
His departure is said to have been Mr Griffith-Jones’s decision, with one source pointing out that no previous chair of the City regulator had served more than a single term.
Mr Griffith-Jones joined the board of the Financial Services Authority, the FCA’s predecessor body, in the autumn of 2012, helping to implement George Osborne’s reform of financial regulation.
His tenure at the helm has been punctuated by episodes of controversy, most of which related to Mr Griffith-Jones’s long career at KPMG, the big four accountancy firm.
The FCA chairman faced calls to resign earlier this year, amid an ongoing police probe into a major fraud at HBOS, the mortgage lender rescued by Lloyds TSB during the financial crisis – and which was audited by KPMG.
He was confronted by similar demands in 2015 over the FCA and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) probes into the failure of HBOS, although there has never been any suggestion that he was culpable for any of the firm’s mistakes.
By comparison with his final predecessor at the FSA, Lord Turner, Mr Griffith-Jones has been inconspicuous during his term at the City watchdog.
He was, though, thrust into the spotlight in 2014, when the FCA inadvertently sent the share prices of big insurance companies tumbling by mishandling a briefing on its plans.
A number of senior executives at the watchdog departed soon afterwards, culminating in the exit of Martin Wheatley, its chief executive, the following year.
Mr Griffith-Jones had to deal with much of the industry backlash triggered by Mr Wheatley’s comment on appointment that he would “shoot first and ask questions later”.
The FCA is now run by Andrew Bailey, who was persuaded by Mr Osborne to move across from his role at the top of the PRA.
Under his stewardship, the City watchdog has pledged to make itself more transparent.
Its priorities during the next year include progressing the introduction of a deadline for payment protection insurance mis-selling claims and assessing the impact of Brexit on financial services consumer regulation.
The FCA declined to comment this weekend.