FCA launches probe into HSBC exec

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is probing HSBC executive Paul Watson, whose online title is listed as head of regulatory compliance for the global banking and markets (GBM) division, Sky News has reported.

The status of the FCA inquiry was unclear on Tuesday, though it is thought to have been under way for a number of weeks, and is reportedly focused on Watson’s ability to handle his duties in a competent manner.

However, Sky added there is no suggestion of Watson being scrutinised for any form of personal misconduct, and it has been noted that he is still fulfilling his role while the investigation continues.

The probe is reportedly connected to a wider investigation into systems and control at HSBC, part of which is related to GBM.

The emergence of the probe comes as the bank investigates a critical memo, purportedly written by a group of dissatisfied current and former HSBC employees who accused senior executives of presiding over a culture of rewards for failure, Sky said.

The lender has hired Magic Circle law firm Allen & Overy to oversee its inquiry into memo under formal whistleblowing procedures.

Both HSBC and the FCA have declined to comment.

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