HM Treasury’s senior official responsible for promoting fairness, efficiency and competitiveness in financial markets is set to move to banking giant Barclays, according to a report.
Katharine Braddick will leave her role as director general for financial services to take up the post at the firm, subject to clearance from anticorruption watchdog the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, Sky News said.
It said Braddick, who has held her current position since 2016, was understood to have accepted the offer of a newly-created post of “director of public policy” at the bank.
Sky said it had learned from a “Treasury insider” that Braddick had stepped away from any involvement in policy work affecting the banking and financial services sectors as soon as she handed in her resignation.
The channel said it was unclear what work she would be able to undertake at the department in her remaining months at the Treasury, which she is expected to leave at “around the end of the year”.
Sky also reported one banking-industry source had questioned how Braddick would be able to function as director of public policy at a major bank and comply with Acoba’s routine two-year ban on former officials lobbying the government – and their former departments in particular.
It added that Braddick had “technically” been on secondment to the Treasury from the Bank of England for the last seven years, initially as director for financial services.
Sky News said Braddick’s proposed move came at an “awkward” time for the Treasury, after months of revelations surrounding lobbying conducted on behalf of failed financial services firm Greensill Capital.
Investigations into Greensill’s inroads into the very highest levels of government – spearheaded by former prime minister David Cameron – have found Treasury officials took the right decisions despite persistent lobbying from the firm.
However the saga has shone a light on areas for improvement in regulating the post-government roles of ministers and senior officials.
Last week Acoba released an exchange of letters with former chancellor Lord Philip Hammond that revealed it considered he had been “unwise” to approach his former department with a query in relation to new his new employer OakNorth Bank. Hammond insisted his approach, which related to an offer of free assistance made by the institution to the department, could not be considered to be “lobbying”.
HM Treasury and Barclays both declined to comment on Sky News’ story about Braddick's proposed move.