The regulator has spent almost £200,000 on flowers for its offices over the past five years, Money Marketing can reveal.
A freedom of information request, submitted by Money Marketing, found the FCA and FSA spent a total of £198,968 between 2009 and 2013 on plants and flowers for its London and Edinburgh offices and for events, at an average cost of £3,316 a month, or £765 a week.
Over the period, it spent £149,432 on its two London offices, £21,747 on its Edinburgh office and £27,787 on flowers for high profile events.
The FSA stopped purchasing flowers for high profile events in August 2012.
Between the FCA’s inception on 1 April 2013 and 31 December 2013, it spent a total of £22,004 on flowers, equivalent to £2,444 a month, or £564 a week.
Of this, £18,584 was spent on its London offices and £3,419 on its Edinburgh office.
The FCA says it uses an external contractor for the supply and fortnightly maintenance of some 300 plants in the three offices.
A spokeswoman for the FCA says: “This contract represents value for money with the plants ensuring our offices are a pleasant and welcoming environment for our visitors and staff.”
It comes after the FCA was accused of hypocrisy last week for cracking down on “extravagant” hospitality for advisers in its final guidance on inducements, just days after it was revealed to have spent almost £15,000 on an overnight stay for a board “away day”.
The FCA held its November board meeting at a five-star hotel in Hertfordshire following an away day the previous day, at a cost of £500 per head.
Penguin Wealth certified financial planner Craig Palfrey says: “This is a staggering amount of money. One has to question whether this is the best use of regulatory fees.”