Ex-Finma CEO to head German regulator BaFin after Wirecard debacle
The announcement comes after German finance minister Olaf Scholz announced earlier this year that Felix Hufeld, the chief of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin, will be replaced, as a part of the regulator’s reorganisation drive, following the Wirecard scandal.
Mark Branson, who has worked at Swiss financial regulator Finma, announced his decision to step down from his current role to take over as the President of BaFIN from mid-2021. Meanwhile, Jan Blöchliger will take over the operational leadership of FINMA from 1 May 2021 and until further notice. Finma’s board of directors has already started the process of selecting Finma’s next CEO, stated the regulator.
Branson has played a key role in building up the Swiss financial authority, which he joined on 1 January 2010 as the head of the banking decision, just after the financial crisis. His mandate had included strengthening the resilience of the banking sector, professionalisation of banking supervision and overseeing the tax dispute-related regularisation. On April 2014, he was appointed as the CEO, where he prioritised conduct supervision, particularly the fight against financial crime through money laundering supervision.
Marlene Amstad, chair of Finma’s board of directors, said that Branson has to be credited for Finma’s currently strong position as a “nationally and internationally well-regarded authority”. “His appointment as BaFin President is an expression of this international recognition,” added Amstad. Branson added that he is extremely proud of what Finma’s relatively small team has achieved together in “very challenging times”. Before his stint at Finma, Branson had previously assumed various management roles at Credit Suisse, SBC Warburg and UBS.
Jan Blöchliger, Finma’s supervisor for the banking division, will take over the operational leadership of the Swiss regulator from 1 May 2021. Finma’s board has already started the process of selecting a new CEO, whose appointment must be approved by the Federal Council.