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Advisers brand FCA chief Martin Wheatley’s pay ‘shocking’

Advisers have called increases in senior pay at regulatory bodies “shocking” after the FCA’s annual report revealed chief executive Martin Wheatley received a total pay packet of £610,000.

Wheatley’s basic salary rose from £430,000 in 2012/13 to £460,000 in 2013/14.

His total remuneration package actually fell from £667,000 to £610,000. However, this was down to Wheatley delaying taking his bonus over the regulator’s handling of the announcement of its closed book review. Last year his bonus was worth £86,000.

The FCA made a loss of £29.3m in 2013/14, largely driven by losses connected with the defined benefit pension scheme inherited from the FSA.

The Financial Ombudsman Service also published its annual accounts last week, which showed total pay for the executive team has risen by 20 per cent, climbing from £1.4m in 2012/13 to £1.7m in 2013/14.

FOS interim chief executive and chief ombudsman Tony Boorman, who took over the role in December, earned total remuneration of £293,406 for 2013/14.

He earned a base salary of £235,964, pension benefits of £24,010 and other benefits worth £33,432, which includes use of a flat in London Docklands and a relocation allowance.

His total pay is 15 per cent higher than the £255,205 he earned in 2012/13, when he was deputy chief executive and chief ombudsman.

The FOS reported a pre-tax surplus of £112.6m for 2013/14, compared to a pre-tax deficit of £23.4m in 2012/13.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “I assume Wheatley will be let off the hook over the closed book probe, so if he receives a delayed bonus his pay will be around £700,000, which is shocking.

“The FCA and FOS are not accountable to anyone which is why this excessive pay is allowed to continue unchecked.”

The Money Advice Service’s annual review, published last week, shows staff costs have increased by over £4m to £12.9m in 2013/14. Costs rose by 56 per cent from £8.3m in 2012/13.

The MAS has increased staff numbers by 28 per cent over the year, from an average of 76.1 full-time employees to 97.7 full-time employees.

It also spent £6.2m on contract and temporary staff in 2013/14, up from £1.9m, which it says reflects the use of contractors to deliver digital products.

MAS chief executive Caroline Rookes received a total pay package of £163,000, including a base salary of £141,000, other benefits and bonuses worth £8,000 and a pension worth £14,000.

Investment Quorum chief executive Lee Robertson says: “Wheatley is doing a very high pressured job so his pay does not seem out of kilter with his responsibilities.

“The MAS’ spend is far harder to justify, however. It continues to increase spend on staff, and spends a ludicrous amount on technology, without any evidence of beneficial outcomes.”

Adviser views


Harry Katz, principal, Norwest Consultants

“Wheatley has a bit of a poisoned chalice. The Treasury and Chancellor Geroge Osborne just go on their merry way making policy without first consulting with the guy they hired to clean up any mess. Auto-enrolment is a simple example. Wheatley is charged with ensuring that people save – it is a pretty thankless task. He gets kicked from all directions.”


Chris Hulme, co-founder, The Clayton Hulme Partnership

“I don’t believe anyone has an issue with people being paid for getting a good job done. But here we have an organisation that has failed miserably in its various guises over the last 30 years of regulation. What sticks in people’s throats is the “Do as I say, not as I do” nature of things. The only people picking up the bill for failure and the regulator’s bonuses is the client.”

FCA, FOS and MAS accounts – in numbers

£221,000 The total pay packet received by MAS marketing and service delivery director Karen Broughton in 2013/14. Broughton, who is the MAS’ highest-earning director, leaves the organisation in September

£30,000 – The pay rise received by FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley in 2013/14, despite deferring his bonus over the botched announcement of a review into the insurance industry

£1.7m – The total pay for the FOS’ executive team in 2013/14, up by 20 per cent from £1.4m in 2012/13

£6,508 – The amount claimed in expenses by FOS principal ombudsman and legal director Caroline Wayman in 2013/14, including a flight to attend an educational programme in California

£29.3m – The loss made by the FCA in 2013/14, largely driven by losses connected with the defined benefit pension scheme inherited from the FSA


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Neil F Liversidge 18th July 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I’ve met Martin Wheatley. He is undoubtedly a very clever man with a high-calibre skill-set. I do not begrudge him his pay packet. He’s negotiated it so good luck to him. If he’s overpaid then that’s the fault of whoever handled the employer’s side of the negotiations. All I do resent is how he and his minions all seem to think we are overpaid when in reality I probably work twice or three times MW’s hours for a tenth as much as he earns. On the one hand the regulator pontificates about driving down the cost of advice meaning driving down our earnings. On the other hand it gives us ever larger bills to pay. Surely MW is intelligent enough to realise that you can’t squeeze from both ends without something going pop? Has anyone at the FCA ever started a business from scratch and run it at a profit for any meaningful period? I think we should be told.

  2. their are many business owners including advisers that are working under pressure but it does not automatically mean they vote themselves a pay rise
    I just feel that this idea that you have to pay high salaries to attract talent has got out of hand

  3. Lets face it the problem we have as an industry is perception – everyone thinks anyone working in financial services is a city wide boy driving a porsche when the reality is a different matter with many advisers earning less than administrators at the FCA et al.

  4. My next job is going to be at the FCA! It has got to be better setting out the hurdles on the track than jumping over them on a daily basis?

  5. The fundamental question that needs to be answered by government is around cost versus benefit. Is the huge cost of financial services regulation and the white elephant know as MAS worth the benefits? Whilst many £billions have been paid out for mis-selling by the banks, e.g. PPI, that could have been achieved by government intervention directly. Therefore, one can not possibly justify the regulatory cost in relation to the benefit when it comes to delivering better outcomes for customers of independent advisers. Indeed with less than 0.5% of FOS complaints arising from this section of the FS community, it clearly does not. It galls me that (effectively) public servants like Martin Wheatley (no matter how good he is) should be paid approximately 10x the average earnings of an adviser and 4-5x the Prime Minister. Add to this the injustice that the bill for the failure of various product manufacturers like Keydata and Arch Cru should also fall largely upon the advice sector, one can’t help thinking the whole thing is completely out of control, totally mis-managed and the world has gone entirely mad! (I stress these are my personal views, I am not speaking on behalf of my Company).

  6. This is yet another example of just what an unaccountable gravy train the FCA is. The TSC doesn’t have the power to back up any challenge to it, whilst APFA doesn’t have the bottle even to try to get anything done about it. Why, APFA, are you making no efforts whatsoever towards the creation of a Statutory Independent Regulatory Oversight Committee? Because you’re nothing more than just a talking shop.

  7. I’m sorry Martin Wheatley, doesn’t get the sympathy vote from me, whether the FCA is a poisoned challis or not; it makes no difference if he is on a hiding for nothing, the fact remains, he is; is own man he took the job, I bet if he was totally honest, knowing he is on to a good thing, huge salary and benefits, free from accountability and the good chance of a gong !! win or lose, good or bad job it matters not.

    He wont answer to us, I bet he sleeps quite well dreaming of what to do with his “delayed” bonus

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