The FSA spent over £100,000 on staff Christmas parties last year despite the outcry over the previous year’s figures, taking total spending to £1.25m since 2004.
Information obtained by Money Marketing through a Freedom of Information request, from recently audited figures, shows the regulator has spent a total of £1,259,624 on staff Christmas parties over the last six years. This includes the £228,462 cost for staff parties held over the festive period at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.
The amount spent breaks down as £140,569 in 2004, £246,189 in 2005, £265,171 in 2006, £271,419 in 2007, £228,462 in 2008 and £107,814 in 2009.
The FSA says it cannot disclose how much it spent on staff flights and accommodation to attend Christmas parties as calculating it would cost too much.
An FSA spokeswoman says: “We do not hold an organisation-wide Christmas party or encourage departmental parties but we provide a budget of £60 per head including VAT for some form of staff event during the year. It is not £60 per head regardless, it is an absolute limit. The budget can be used but does not have to be.”
Adviser Alliance director Alan Lakey says: “The FSA has a legal obligation to spend its budget in a manner consistent with its duties. This is an unacceptable use of IFAs’ money.”