Regulatory fee demands are, from an advisory firms perspective, never welcome, they do not even have a ‘Marmite’ element about them.
This year the FCA fees for 2015/16 will see a near 6% inflation busting increase.
The fees go to cover a myriad of things that advisers are well aware of, but many would be surprised to know that for the 2014/15 accounts recently published seven individuals received exit packages in excess of £100k, an uplift of some 130% on 2013/14 figures of three,
We recently submitted an FOI request asking who was in receipt of these sums but, despite this being an organisation to whom FOI requests can be made to, there seems to be a refusal to explain where over £1m of your fees has gone to since 2013.
Why, well you guessed it, section 40 of the Data Protection Act 1998
I attach the reply we received as it makes for interesting reading, one person actually received over £200k and the total exit package cost came to £2.8m.
Regulatory fees should not be spent this way.
Although this is at the upper end of the regulatory spectrum for paying somebody to go away, another FOI request has confirmed that at the lower end of the spectrum, the FCA is playing fast and loose with your fees too.
Nearly £7,000 was spent on something called ‘FCA Inclusion Fortnight’ to assist in valuing “differences in our people”.
APFA commented in their response to the fee hike “The sign of a good public administration is its ability to deliver in the face of budget cuts or freezes, and local government and Whitehall departments proved that over the past five years. The FCA should face up to the same challenge, therefore we call on the FCA to exercise cost restraint and to commit to a real term freeze for two years to ensure its budget does not continue on its upward trajectory.
Cost restraint, FCA…I would say that you could not make it up. But…