Martin Wheatley, chief executive officer at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is to stand down from his role, effective 12 September 2015.

He will continue to act as an adviser to the FCA Board until 31 January 2016, with a particular emphasis on the implementation of the Fair and Effective Markets Review, which he co-chaired.

Wheatley has been in charge of the FCA since its inception in 2013. Since its inception, the regulator has seen its sphere of power increase dramatically, having taken over the regulation of consumer credit, including motor finance.

His time in charge of the FCA has not been without hiccups, as the regulator came to terms with the new markets. BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed speculated that "The treasury was behind Martin Wheatley’s surprise decision to stand down," on his blog.

John Griffith-Janes, chairman of the FCA said: "Martin has done an outstanding job as Chief Executive setting up and leading the FCA over the last four years. We owe him a lot and I and my Board would like to thank him for his great efforts in setting up the organisation and for the contribution he has made to putting conduct so firmly at the top of the financial services agenda.

"We all wish Martin well and I am pleased that we will continue to benefit from his wisdom and expertise over the next few months."
Martin Wheatley said: "I am incredibly proud of all we have achieved together in building the FCA over the last four years. I know that the organisation will build on that strong start and work so that the financial services industry continues to thrive."

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Tracy McDermott, who became director of supervision – investment, wholesale and specialists in April 2015, will take over as acting chief executive from 12 September while a permanent replacement is looked for.