FCA under fire over advisers’ £74m regulatory bill


The FCA has come under fire over its budget for 2016/17, which again hands huge bills to advisers.

Published as part of its business plan this week, the proposals will see the FCA ask investment, mortgage and general insurance advisers to pay 28.4 per cent of its budget.

As a result some £133m will be taken from this group of advisers, more than the contributions of both insurance providers (£60m) and deposit taking bodies such as banks (£128m).

Advisers in the A13 fee block will have to pay £73.7m towards the regulator’s overall budget of £519.3m. This remains relatively flat year-on-year.

The FCA says it will keep the minimum fee, paid by 37 per cent of regulated firms, at £1,084.

Informed Choice executive director Nick Bamford says: “The banks are massively bigger and have been repeatedly hauled up for misselling of late, so I cant understand why advisers have to pay so much. It doesn’t make sense.

“Did the FCA not read the FAMR and find that maybe cutting costs would make advice more accessible? There’s a real lack of joined up thinking here and at the end of the day, we might pay directly, but the consumer pays indirectly.”

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall adds: “It’s become clear that trying to engage or argue with the FCA doesn’t work. We saw that when they rejected the long-stop.

“Consumers should be asking whether they are getting good value from the FCA, because we certainly think they’re not.”

The FCA says the 8 per cent increase in its overall budget for 2016/17, from £481.6m last year, is due to it taking on additional responsibilities for supervising the consumer credit market, as well as changes to accountability rules and the mortgage credit directive.

Consumer credit previously fell under the remit of the Office of Fair Trading, and Combined Financial Strategies planner Jonothan McColgan questions the need to raise further funds.

He says: “It’s deeply frustrating, in particular when I see them blaming the transfer of consumer credit.

“We had something that has already been set up and running, and yet here we are paying more. It feels like the advice sector is being billed for rebrands and rearranging deckchairs.”