Tracy McDermott has withdrawn from the race to replace Martin Wheatley as the permanent chief executive at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
McDermott has been acting chief executive since Wheatley stepped down in the second half of 2015, and had been tipped by various media reports as the favourite to land the job on a full time basis.
However this morning, UK Chancellor George Osborne responded to a statement by the BBC Today Programme that the FCA had been leaderless, saying: "There is a very effective interim leader in Tracey McDermott, who has been doing a very good job. She doesn’t want the job full time."
McDermott has now confirmed Osborne’s words. She said: "I have been at the FSA/FCA for 15 years and I remain extremely committed to, and passionate about, the important work we do. It has been, and remains, a privilege to lead this organisation.
"However, going through the recruitment process has made me reflect on what I want to do with the rest of my career. As a result I have decided that this is not the right job for me at this stage of my career. This was a decision taken after many months of careful thought and was not one that I took lightly. "
FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones said: "Tracey’s stewardship of the FCA as Acting Chief Executive has served to build on an impressive reputation created during her time leading various divisions across the FCA. Over the last few months I have enjoyed working closely with Tracey and have appreciated both her advice and leadership of the organisation. I understand and respect the decision Tracey has made. The Board I and will continue to work together with her until the new Chief Executive is in post."