FCA chair set to rack up record expenses bill

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FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones is on track to file the largest expenses bill in the history of the regulator, figures have revealed.

In figures published today, the FCA showed that Griffith-Jones has racked up a mammoth £29,738.69 in expenses after just three quarters of the year.

Griffith-Jones’ total for the nine months starting April 2015 is exceeded only by former chief executive Martin Wheatley’s bill for all of 2014/15, which saw the ex-boss claim £33,017.59 for a full twelve months.

This means that if Griffith-Jones files more than £3,279 in expenses for the three months to March 2016, he will reach the largest annual expense bill recorded by the FCA since its launch in 2013.

In the eleven quarters since the regulator’s launch, Griffith-Jones has claimed an average of £7,040.44 for each three-month period.

The chairman’s bill is led by costs for foreign travel, which totals £25,000 for the year-to-date.

By contrast, acting chief executive Tracey McDermott, who took over following Wheatley’s departure last Summer, has recorded just £5,539 in expenses claims for the year-to-date.

McDermott’s bill is exceeded by that of FCA strategy and competition director Chris Woolard, who joined the regulator’s board in the aftermath of Wheatley’s exit. Woolard has claimed £7,712, almost exclusively in the final three months of 2015.

Wheatley also filed £4,638.91 in expenses between April 2015, and his departure in mid-July.

Wheatley’s exit was confirmed on 17 July, by which point the outgoing boss had already claimed £252.36 in expenses for the quarter.

An FCA spokeswoman says: “The FCA seeks to minimise the necessity of domestic and overseas travel. The FCA could not however fulfil its role as a financial regulator without regular meetings with other overseas regulators and visits to group head offices of the firms which it is responsible for in the UK.

“Furthermore, much of the financial rules which govern the United Kingdom are determined in committees which meet outside the UK and the attendance of FCA personnel at such meetings is essential if the FCA is to discharge its role effectively.”