New BBA head Anthony Browne recruited from Morgan Stanley

12 June 2012

Anthony Browne has been appointed as the next chief executive of the British Bankers' Association (BBA) to succeed Angela Knight, who is stepping down to join Energy UK.

Browne will take up his new position as chief executive of the BBA trade body on 1 September 2012 after departing his current job as head of government relations for Morgan Stanley in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The political and negotiating skills gained in this job will no doubt stand him in good stead at the BBA as he talks to governments and regulators about the new UK capital adequacy rules, international stipulations such as Basel III and a raft of other post-crash banking regulations.

The appointment is also presumably designed to help the BBA move on from the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal, which has cost the UK retail banking industry billions of pounds in compensation and was thought to be a contributing factor to the departure of his predecessor Knight who spearheaded the industry resistance to compensation claims in the High Court.

Previously employed by London major, Boris Johnson, as director of policy for economic development, Browne used to look after business policy for the UK capital and its large financial services sector in the City and at Canary Wharf. He has also served on the boards of the London Development Agency and the London Skills and Employment Board.

Additionally, Browne helped set up, and is on the board of theCityUK, the promotional body for UK financial services. He was director of the Policy Exchange think tank and prior to that was a journalist for nearly twenty years for the Times, the Observer and the BBC.

Welcoming him to his new post, the BBA chairman Marcus Agius, said: "I am delighted that Anthony Browne has agreed to become the BBA’s new chief executive. This continues to be a time of change and reform for the banking industry and Anthony brings with him a range of skills and experiences to lead the organisation in facing the challenges arising. He has a tough act to follow but I am sure he will be a highly effective voice for the industry."

According to Browne, it will be an honour to lead the BBA trade body, as it seeks to help resolve, and in some case mitigate, the complex issues and post-crash regulations still surrounding the banking industry five years after the start of the financial crisis. “We need to continue to lead on reform, ensuring the banking sector meets the needs and expectations of our customers and shareholders,” he said, while stressing he also wants to see the banking play a pivotal role in returning the UK to economic growth.

“In a time of change and uncertainty, the BBA has a critically important mission to ensure the banking sector returns to health, remains in Britain, and has the trust of the public and politicians,” added Browne, referring to the oft-quoted threat of a banking exodus if post-crash regulations become too onerous.

By Neil Ainger

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