Hector Sants.

British bank Barclays named Hector Sants, the old head of the Financial Services Authority watchdog, as its new compliance chief on Wednesday in the wake of the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

Sants, 56, will start his new job on January 21 and will also take on responsibility for the bank's relationships with governments and regulators around the world, the company said in a statement.

He was formerly chief executive of London's financial sector watchdog from 2007 until June 2012.

“Barclays has appointed Hector Sants to the newly-created role of head of compliance and government and regulatory relations,” the lender said.

“Mr Sants will join the executive committee of Barclays and report to the group chief executive Antony Jenkins.

“In this role, Mr Sants will oversee all compliance activities across Barclays, including all regions in which Barclays does business.

“In a major change this will mean, for the first time, that all compliance staff within the bank report to one individual, and operate independent of business and reginal management teams.”

Jenkins said the appointment would send a “clear signal” about the group's commitment to compliance.

Barclays was plunged into crisis in June when it was fined £290 million ($470 million, 363 million euros) by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009.

The Libor rate is calculated daily, using estimates from banks of their own interbank rates. However, the system has been found to be open to abuse, with some traders lying about borrowing costs to boost trading positions or make their bank seem more secure.

The London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) is a flagship instrument used all over the world, affecting what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow money. Euribor is the eurozone equivalent. - Sapa-AFP