Financial Reporting Council boss to step down as watchdog is probed

Stephen Haddrill

Stephen Haddrill has informed the board of the Financial Reporting Council that he intends to step down from his role as chief executive officer of the accountancy watchdog in late 2019.

The exact date of his departure will depend on a number of factors including the outcome of Sir John Kingman’s review of the FRC, the search for his successor, and any agreed transition period associated with that appointment.

Haddrill will depart after nine years in charge of the FRC and the announcement comes amid strong criticism levelled at it following the collapse of Carillion.

In May, a committee of MPs described the FRC as “chronically passive” in an excoriating report into the construction group’s failure, condemning the regulator as “too timid to make effective use of the powers they have”.

The FRC is currently the subject to multiple inquiries into its effectiveness and independence and has come under scrutiny over the close relationship that its senior personnel share with the so-called “Big Four” accountancy firms.

Early responses to the Kingman review, published in August, highlighted widespread concerns that the FRC was too close to the industry it supervises and unwilling to issue serious penalties following wrongdoing in the sector.

Mr Haddrill said: “I am incredibly proud to have led the FRC for nearly 9 years. However, I believe that it should be the job of a new CEO to lead the FRC when the way ahead is decided. In the meantime, I remain fully committed to taking forward the FRC’s important programmes on audit reform, investor stewardship, corporate reporting and preparing the FRC for EU exit.”

FRC chairman Sir Win Bischoff said: “I would personally like to thank Stephen and also on behalf of the Board, Committees and Councils of the FRC for his leadership and commitment over this significant period in our history.”

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