Apfa is calling for an independent audit of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s costs after the lifeboat fund’s annual levy rose again for 2015/16.
The FSCS’ annual plan and budget, published last month, revealed the overall levy will rise from £276m in 2014/15 to £287m in 2015/16.
Investment advisers will contribute £125m towards the levy, a £13m increase on the figure from the previous year.
Life and pensions intermediaries, meanwhile, will have to cough up £57m, some £24m higher than the bill they faced in 2014/15.
The FSCS’s management expenses levy for 2015/16 has been set at £74.4m, down from £80m in 2014/15.
Apfa director general Chris Hannant says rising costs at the FSCS are unacceptable.
He says: “Despite a small decrease in FSCS’s management costs this year, the cost of continuing operations keeps increasing.
“We’re particularly concerned about the amounts being spent on their change programme and how the budget is being controlled. The estimated cost has increased by two thirds from 2013, yet FSCS thinks this is acceptable simply because it has saved money elsewhere. It isn’t.
“We believe the National Audit Office should conduct a value for money audit on FSCS’s strategic projects. We also want to see the FSCS commit to, at the very least, holding its costs steady for the next three years.”
The cost of an online claims processing system being introduced by the FSCS has spiralled from an original cost estimate of £12.2m in 2013 to £20.4m.
Apfa has also raised concerns about the costs associated with the FOS.
Hannant says: “Both APFA and the National Audit Office have said previously that FOS needs to do more to communicate to members how and why costs keep increasing. It’s disappointing therefore that there is still a lack of detail about what is driving the change in unit costs.
“FOS should commit to greater transparency around what it is spending the levy on, and then adopt a more analytical approach to identify in monetary terms the main drivers of change in the unit costs. Only then will advisers know if they are getting value for money.”