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Blooming liberty: FCA spends £200k on office flowers

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.”

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Comments

There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Clickbait. However, doesn’t mean they should not be called to account though.

  2. Advisers will be going violet at this news. Will the FSA explain how this situation arose? They have too liperal an attitude to Other People’s Money.

  3. How wonderful lets use our money to keep the office nice and sweet. Wish I could afford fresh flowers every week but with being overcharged on fees PII and of course having wonderful weekends away I use a spray

  4. Goodness rose what they think they are doing. One of these daisys sanity will prevail………….

  5. £22,004 on flowers, equivalent to £2,444 a month, or £564 a week doesn’t sound to me like anything approaching prudent expenditure of OPM. But what can be done when the regulator doesn’t have to justify such expenditures to anyone else? They just declare It to be value for money and that’s all we have to say on the matter. End of.

  6. Lets face it they need something to brighten their dull old day up@ 🙂

  7. It’s people like you lot that force any state accountable body to move further and further towards demoralising, drab, working environments.

    If you really think ~60p per person, each month on plants costs more than the benefit it provides (given each person will already be on > £2000) then I feel sorry for anyone who ever has to work for you.

  8. Dear IFAs

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    We’re unaccountable
    So we say f… orget about it

    Love the FCA

  9. Imagine the FCA’s thoughts if i rang my clients up and said “by the way i’m putting my ongoing fees up by 30% and you HAVE to keep paying them” only for my clients to come in and find that i have redecorated the office.

    Double standards from the regulator. No surprise there then.

  10. I’m just so sick of the all the hypocrisy of the regulatory. Nothing surprises me any more..it really doesn’t.. they really are a law unto themselves.. Thank God I am 62 and near the end of my financial career. Its been 30 years of enjoyment, satisfaction and happy clients ( not one complaint in 34 years). I feel so sorry for those just entering the industry… they will never know what it was like.

    of course they can listen to the regulatory and read the history books where they will learn about the bad old days, when all advisers should be treated with suspicion as to their motives…. Doesn’t it make you sick…but I was there so I know the truth of what it was like…

  11. To be fair, they do need something to cover up the rotten stench that emanates from there!

  12. As with everything there is usually a rational outcome.

    We should all launder money. When we buy the detergent to wash the stuff the packet usually comes with a plastic flower. We should collect these and send them to No 25 – it will save them a fortune!

    I believe there are about 25,000 advisers – so please FCA will you send us £8 each – as we never paid you to squander our money on luxuries.

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