Lord Green in running to be next FRC chairman

by Richard Crump

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07 Jan 2014

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EX-TRADE MINISTER and former HSBC boss Lord Green is in the running to become the next chairman of the FRC, Accountancy Age has learned.

Lord Green, who retired as government trade minister in December, is understood to have been interviewed as a potential successor to Baroness Hogg, who announced her decision to retire as chairman of the UK reporting watchdog in May last year.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) is conducting the recruitment process and is expected to announce a successor by the end of the month. BIS and the FRC declined to comment.

Green served as chairman of HSBC for more than four years from 2006, having previously acted as group chief executive between 2003 and 2006. He was appointed Minister of State for Trade and Investment on 11 January 2011 and was made a life peer in November 2010.

During his time as trade minister, Green was credited with leading the "reform and rejuvenation" of UK Trade and Investment by David Cameron, and for securing "vital investments", such as the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station.

He also served as chairman of the British Bankers' Association and deputy president of the CBI.

However, Green's career has not been without controversy. In July 2012, he came under intense scrutiny following allegations that HSBC had inadvertently allowed money laundering by Mexican drug barons and rogue states during his time in charge.

At the time, Chris Leslie, Labour's shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, said Green had "serious questions to answer" about what he knew about HSBC's money laundering failures. Green later said he shared the bank's "regrets" over its conduct and acknowledged failings in in how it handled the allegations.

HSBC reached a $1.92bn (£1.2bn) deferred prosecution agreement with US authorities in December 2012, which resolved charges that it had failed to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme.

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