FCA confirms 4.7% increase in advisers’ regulatory fees

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The FCA has confirmed a 4.7 per cent increase in regulatory fees for advisers.

In a policy statement on its bills for the year, the regulator has announced that FCA fees for the A.13 fee block, which includes financial advisers, will increase from £73.7m to £77.1m.

The move confirms plans set out by the regulator in an April consultation on funding for 2017/18.

However, there is good news for advisers too. In the consultation, the FCA said an estimated £4.4m would be delivered back to the A.13 fee block from penalties applied on poorly performing firms. £3.9m will now be returned, it has confirmed.

The FCA had planned to reduce the amount to fund the Money Advice Service by 10 per cent overall, with a six per cent fall for advisers, in light of the move towards a single financial guidance body comprising MAS, Pension Wise and The Pensions Advisory Service.

The regulator has now said that the total money advice levy would fall by nearly a third though, with the same amount taken off advisers’ bills.

The FCA proposed to cut the funding for Government-backed guidance service Pension Wise from 22.5m to £16.2m, reducing advisers’ share to 12 per cent, and has also following through with these plans today.

The regulator acknowledged in its consultation that the fee block which includes advisers “will only benefit if, after using Pension Wise, consumers seek advice from regulated financial advisers”, and that other fee blocks “will more likely benefit as the monies released through greater pension flexibility, if used for investment, will be distributed among them.”

While the FCA noted that some had argued for advisers’ share of the Pension Wise bill should fall to 5 per cent, it said it the funding requirement for Pension Wise only represented 0.01 per cent of the income A.13 block firms reported, so it would not change it plans.

Advisers’ Pension Wise funding share had already fallen from 50 per cent to 12 per cent in 2015/16.