FCA appoints Hong Kong regulator chief Ashley Alder as chair

FCA chair Ashley Alder

Ashley Alder has been appointed chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulator responsible for keeping UK fintech in check.

Alder is expected to begin his five-year term in January. He is currently the chief executive officer of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong.

He will take over the role from interim chair Richard Lloyd, who will then go back to his job as FCA senior independent director.

“We are looking forward to working with Ashley as he takes over the leadership of the FCA’s board next year,” said Richard Lloyd, interim chair, FCA.

Alder has previously worked as the executive director of the SFC’s Corporate Finance Divison and head of Asia at law firm Herbert Smith LLP.

“As the FCA continues to strengthen its vital work to protect consumers and our financial markets, his deep experience of leading a major international regulator will help us deliver our ambitious strategy for the future,” added Lloyd.

The FCA has rule-making and investigative powers for the UK’s financial services industry. It regulates the conduct of around 51,000 businesses, with some of those operating in booming areas of fintech such as buy now, pay later.

Last month the FCA launched an investigation into Kristo Käärmann co-founder and CEO of fintech Wise after he defaulted on tax payments.

And earlier this year it clashed with cryptocurrency companies, giving them a deadline to register or cease doing business in the UK.

Former FCA chair Charles Randell has previously questioned the legitimacy of “speculative crypto tokens”.