News come hard and fast-new OFT CEO announced today!

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable MP, announced today that Clive Maxwell is to replace John Fingleton as Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Fair Trading.

Clive Maxwell is currently an Executive Director and Member of the Board of the Office and has in the past held a number of posts in the Treasury from 2000 to 2009.


for more information about the handover.

His appointment comes at a critical time for the OFT, as he will be deeply involved in the transition to the new Competition and Markets Authority.  The CMA will replace the current framework for the enforcement of the competition rules in the UK, which is characterised by a division of responsibilities between the OFT and the Competition Commission; this is especially apparent in respect to the control of mergers and to market inquiries, and has been widely approved of for its thoroughness and for its efficiency.

The move to a unified agency is therefore not entirely uncontroversial: it may be wondered whether, rather than looking at the merits of such a transition the Government may have been influenced by the perceived need to implement budgetary cuts.  Surely, it is in many ways regrettable that, if that was indeed the case, the OFT and the CC could be innocent victims of the "bonfire" of many governmental and quasi-governmental agencies.