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Candidates for top City bank jobs to be checked out by the Financial Services Authority

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) wants to closely vet senior job candidates at top City banks.

In a letter to 5,000 chief executives in the financial sector, the FSA said it expected to be engaged early in the recruitment process.

Michael Wainwright, partner at international law firm Eversheds, said: "The FSA's announcement of a more intrusive approach, in relation to vetting senior appointments at banks and other large institutions, reflects an evolutionary change that has been developing for some time.

"It is good news for consultants, who will be hired by the FSA to help with the interview process and by firms to help them get their preferred candidates through. In the long run, it is likely to have a stultifying effect on selection for senior appointments, with institutional preference being given to those candidates whose paper record is thought to tick the right boxes.

"But it is likely to bring discouragement to those who have shown willingness to challenge accepted orthodoxy in the past, particularly where this has brought them into conflict with the regulator."