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Head of Department - Interventions, Investigations Triage and Threshold Conditions - Retail & Regula

Financial Conduct Authority
Closing date
23 May 2022

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Contract Type
Full Time
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About the FCA

At the FCA, we're creating a fair and more resilient financial system. We're establishing more transparent relationships between financial services and customers, building trust in financial markets and protecting vulnerable consumers.

We're currently on an exciting journey as we drive forward significant organisational, people, process, and technology transformation to become a more forward-thinking, proactive regulator. We will use data more effectively to drive better regulatory decisions and build greater cohesion across our broad financial services remit.

Significant improvements in digital enablement, business intelligence, market data and information management maturity are all being pursued to maintain our position as a world leader in financial services regulation.

The Role

We're looking for a talented and influential Head of Department (HoD) to lead our interventions, investigations triage and threshold conditions functions. The work of this department is at the heart of the FCA transformation agenda and its functions align with key organisational priorities.

This Head of Department currently leads four critical FCA teams: Relationship Management and Strategy (overseeing the pipeline of Retail investigations and being responsible for our engagement strategy with internal and external stakeholders), Interventions (supporting the FCA's desire to intervene assertively when ongoing harm is detected), the Threshold Conditions Team and the Use It or Lose It/firm cancellations team.

These teams are all high-volume, high priority casework areas, which require rigorous process, oversight and leadership. The teams are critical to the FCA achieving its objectives to intervene assertively to stop consumer harm, to investigate serious misconduct in a timely way, enforce the threshold conditions and remove permissions of those firms no longer using them.

Retail & Regulatory Investigations ("RRI") is a core function within our Enforcement & Oversight (EMO) division. The work of EMO covers market monitoring, delivery of the functions of the UK Listing Authority (UKLA) and the investigation, prosecution and remedying of misconduct through criminal, civil and administrative sanctions against firms or individuals.

RRI investigate sectors covering retail banking, stockbroking, asset management, mortgage broking and lending, insurance, financial advice, consumer credit and payment services. RRI cases are wide ranging, including criminal, civil, early intervention and disciplinary action. We deal with firms that sell unsuitable products or services to consumers, mishandle client money and assets, or have governance and systemic issues. We also investigate financial crime matters and take action against individuals under SMCR, APER and/or fitness and properness regimes.

Retail and Regulatory Investigations works with speed, flexibility and influence to deter misconduct, raise standards of behaviour and promotes competition that works better for consumers.

You will be part of the Retail and Regulatory Investigations leadership team with a view to running the division in a joined up and cooperative way. This role reports to the Director of RRI and is a key role within our Enforcement senior leadership team.

This is a high-visibility Head of Department role, both internally and externally, given the sensitive high-profile matters the teams deal with. The successful candidate will lead and deliver through a team of approximately 40FTE, with remit to build additional capacity and capability in the department to tackle poor firms.

Key responsibilities:
  • Ensuring the timely prioritisation and referral of cases for Retail Enforcement investigation by strategic oversight of the Retail Enforcement vetting, triage and decision-making processes
  • Enforcing the threshold conditions rigorously through strategic oversight of the Threshold Conditions Team volume and non-volume cases pipeline and investigations
  • Overseeing delivery of public commitments to cancel firms not meeting threshold conditions
  • Executive Decision Maker for decisions to cancel firms for failing to meet Threshold Conditions: assessing evidence, hearing representations from regulated firms, deciding on appeals from automatic cancellations, and taking decisions to publish Final Notices against regulated firms
  • Peer to peer review of regular and often urgent decisions to use formal Enforcement powers taken by Supervision Executive Decision Makers
  • Providing urgent and effective assistance to Supervisors in mitigating current and ongoing consumer harm through interventions and oversight of the investigation pipeline and execution of such work, including oversight of action taken in the courts/Upper Tribunal
  • A key member on the HoD project Board (a body that oversees the strategic decision making in relation to a portfolio of investigations), Divisional Leadership Team and Investigations Decisions Committee (an FCA wide HoD level group that determines which matters are investigated by the Retail enforcement function)
  • Member of the Retail Leadership Team and FCA Senior Leadership Team
  • Enforcement lead on multiple cross-FCA strategic projects
  • Develop and deliver a departmental strategy that aligns to broader divisional and FCA objectives
  • Lead on performance, capability and culture within the department, with a strong focus on operational excellence
  • Deliver through others by relying on coaching, influencing and negotiating skills with a range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Build a strong and inclusive department that attracts and develops diverse talent

What will the candidate get from the role?
  • Joining the Senior Leadership Team at the FCA during an exciting and challenging time of great change in financial services and its regulation
  • Leading a department of talented and committed people through significant projects whilst also delivering on business-as-usual objectives
  • Exposure to strategic issues and key players in the world of finance

Skills/Experience required

  • Significant experience of managing and influencing key stakeholders, including senior decision makers internally and externally
  • Deep practical knowledge and understanding of running complex investigations across a wide portfolio of subject matters, with investigations often in the public eye
  • Strategic mindset - ability to forge effective cross-divisional relationships to ensure implementation of the FCA Mission and Business Plan priorities
  • Ability to challenge appropriately, to be diplomatic, and to influence and negotiate

  • An excellent leader of people who improves capability, leads through change, builds a diverse and inclusive team and exhibits an engaging and adaptable style that connects with people at all levels
  • A high level of personal resilience - you should be able to manage challenging situations and work across organisational boundaries.
  • Ability to develop quickly a technical understanding of the FCA's powers and risk-based approach in relation to investigation and enforcement activity
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate and build effective strategies to ensure the prevention of harm to retail consumers
  • Analytical approach; involves regular rapid analysis of complex facts to understand risks to consumers and/or whether a matter needs urgent investigation and/or immediate intervention, the latter often engaging processes that result in potential court action and therefore detailed external scrutiny on decision making
  • Experience promoting, managing and influencing relationships with key external stakeholders
  • An ability to manage and control risk, embed good practice, manage headcount and budgets, and drive change where necessary
  • Experience bringing together diverse teams, creating strategic alignments, leveraging MI and measuring outcomes across a varied portfolio of work
  • Experience leading through and delivering strategic change programmes

  • Understanding of the financial services market in the UK and how firms operate within it
  • Broad knowledge of key priorities and workstreams across the FCA that may impact retail consumers to help identify potential cases of serious misconduct and emerging risks

The FCA's Values & Diversity

Our ambition is to create a diverse and inclusive workplace that reflects the society we serve, helping us to be a better regulator. We serve the public and our decisions directly affect the wellbeing of people, businesses and the UK economy. So, our values matter. They represent the culture we aspire to every day, guiding our judgements, building trust and helping us to be 'At our best'.

As an inclusive employer, we are open to considering flexible working arrangements, including job shares. Please inform your recruiter if you wish to apply for this role on a flexible basis.

Useful information
  • The closing date for this role is 23.55 on 15th May 2022
  • Selection will be via a two-stage interview and psychometric assessment. We reserve the right to conduct a final stage interview if necessary
  • This role will be based in our London office
  • Contact Amy Henry, in the Executive Resourcing team for more information about this role -

Offer is dependent on successfully receiving SC Clearance (minimum 3-year UK residency required).

Hybrid Working

The FCA is currently trialling a new hybrid way of working, requiring colleagues to spend 40% of their time in the office each month until the end of July. This trial period will allow us to identify the most appropriate balance of hybrid working, enabling us to benefit from the best of both working in an office environment and remotely.

Conflicts of interest

All applicants to the FCA are required to demonstrate that they do not have other interests likely to conflict with their responsibilities as an employee of the FCA. You should declare any potential conflict of interest as early as possible in the selection process, and also disclose information or personal connections that, if appointed, might be open to misperception.

Any potential conflicts of interest will not prevent candidates going forward to interview but may, if appropriate, be explored during the interview to establish how the candidate would address the issue(s) should they be successful in their application.
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