Advisers have slammed the FSA for paying staff nearly £20m in bonuses, branding it “inappropriate” and “insensitive”.
The figures, obtained by the Liberal Democrats through a Freedom of Information request, show the FSA paid £19.7m in bonuses last year, a 40 per cent increase on the previous year.
It was also revealed that £4m went to executives earning over £100,000 and that one emp-loyee received a £90,000 bonus.
The average bonus paid to regulator executives was £19,100 while the average for other staff was £4,107. In February, Money Marketing repor-ted the FSA had set aside £10m in its 2009/10 budget to increase staff pay, as well as 15 per cent of total staff salaries, £21m, for potential bonuses.
Tenet group distribution and development director Keith Richards says he has received many calls from members angry at the amount that has been paid and the timing of the bonuses.
He says: “The bonuses are inappropriate and completely insensitive, given the current market challenges.
“The IFA community has been angered, particularly given the regulator’s failures that have contributed to the crisis.”
The Mortgage Practitioner principal Danny Lovey also branded the bonuses “inappropriate”. He says: “Brokers are on their knees at the moment trying to survive and we are paying bonuses to people in ivory towers through our fees.”
Financial Choices partner Richard O’Fee adds: “It is ironic that the FSA is paying bonuses while opposing the practice in the City.
“If it is bad for the private sector why is it okay in the pub- lic sector?”
An FSA spokesman says: “The FSA needs to attract and retain high-quality staff to deliver better regulation. Any such structure must have a variable element so that we can recognise individual performance appropriately.”