Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Nikhil Rathi


ON THE face of it, Nikhil Rathi is a very pleasant and softly spoken man, a Gujarati who has been vegetarian all his life. He lives unostentatiously with his wife and three children. He is not seen at high society parties. But people should beware.

He was competitive enough to be the under-12 tennis champion in Cumbria. When Rishi Sunak was chancellor, Rathi was appoined as the £455,000 a year chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in June 2020, replacing Andrew Bailey who became governor of the Bank of England. Rathi was given the job ahead of others because he was considered to be “the outstanding candidate”.In a memorable turn of phrase, Rathi declared: “Together, we need a new enlightenment that can spark a solution to financial inclusion.” Put simply, Rathi’s job is to protect the ordinary person in the street from the vultures in the corporate world. And he seems to be taking his responsibilities very seriously.

He appears to have expanded his role so that he now wants to prevent fraud, identity theft and cyber attacks; encourage those without bank accounts to open one; make sure financial institutions don’t rip off their customers; offer advice on the wisdom of saving for a rainy day and for pensions; help the poorest in society cope with the rising cost of living; and generally adopt a policy of inclusion so as to shepherd the marginalised into the mainstream.

He has set out how the FCA is working: “Financial markets must be honest, competitive and fair so consumers get a fair deal. We work to ensure these markets work well for individuals, for businesses, and for the growth and competitiveness of the UK economy.

“We do this by regulating the conduct of nearly 45,000 businesses; prudentially supervising around 44,000 firms;

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