High-ranking crime fighter to join UK’s FCA as payments and digital assets director

High-ranking crime fighter to join UK’s FCA as payments and digital assets director

The Financial Conduct Authority (UK regulator) has added nearly 500 staff members to its ranks this year in line with its new three-year strategy. Six directors were among the newly hired staff, and their appointments were made July 5. Two of the new hires are police officers.

The newly created post of Director of Payments and Digital Assets will be responsible for overseeing the e-money and payment markets as well as related policy development. Matthew Long, who was previously a director at the National Crime Agency, was elected to this position. Long also headed the UK Financial Intelligence Unit. Long started his career in Kent Police as a detective. He also holds a PhD on risk management. Long will assume his new role in October.

Karen Baxter, who joins the FCA in September as director of strategy and policy international and intelligence, will assist with FCA enforcement and market supervision activities. She served as a commander and the national coordinator for economic crimes in the City of London Police. She is also a member of the Office of Communications Board for Northern Ireland.

Two interim directors have been appointed permanent, while new directors for consumer finance and wholesale buying-side were also appointed.

Related: Former Chancellor claims the UK is falling behind in crypto opportunities

The new strategy of the agency aims to be more innovative and assertive, as well as adaptive.

“Proactively shape the digitalization and financial services by developing our regulatory approaches for digital markets.”

The strategy focused on digital markets and examined competition among digital firms as well as the benefits and risks Big Tech would bring to the sector. It will investigate the role of artificial Intelligence in finance, and lead investigations “informed from behavioural economics to test digital consumer travels.”

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