Lloyds hires FSA general counsel

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Lloyds Banking Group has hired the general counsel of the UK financial regulator, the second executive move from the Financial Services Authority to one of Britain’s leading lenders this week, as banks increase their focus on compliance following a clutch of scandals.

Andrew Whittaker will join Lloyds in the second quarter of next year as its general counsel, or most senior lawyer. “It’s a big job and there are some obvious challenges and some real opportunities too,” said Mr Whittaker on Friday.

The hiring comes days after Barclays named Hector Sants, former chief executive of the FSA, to a new role heading regulatory and government affairs. The appointment is part of the bank’s efforts to cleanse its reputation after a succession of scandals, including its involvement in the global Libor rate-fixing affair.

In a similar move, HSBC announced on Monday that Robert Werner, a former US Treasury official, would take on a new role focused on compliance with financial crime and money-laundering rules. On Tuesday, HSBC was fined $1.9bn for a succession of breaches of money laundering and sanctions rules.

Lloyds, too, has had its fair share of reputational damage. The part-nationalised bank has been the biggest culprit in the mis-selling scandal surrounding payment protection insurance. It is also one of about 20 banks and interdealer brokers being investigated in the global investigation into Libor.

On Monday, another UK bank, Standard Chartered, was fined $327m by US regulators for sanctions breaches, adding to an earlier $340m fine by another US regulator over the same affair.

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