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FCA may quit Canary Wharf offices

The FCA is considering quitting its Canary Wharf offices for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site in Stratford.

The regulator is reportedly thinking of transferring its offices to The International Quarter, a new development between Stratford station and the Olympic stadium.

This is Money cites a report from Estates Gazette which says the FCA’s current lease will end in 2018 and the regulator has begun looking for alternative premises. It is thought to be considering both the Stratford site and an alternative Canary Wharf office block.

In the FCA’s business plan for 2013/14, published in March 2013, it listed accommodation and office services costs at £32.9m for the year.

This accounted for 7 per cent of its budget and related to the FCA’s offices in Canary Wharf and Edinburgh.

The business plan said: “A large proportion of these costs are fixed to current contracts and so remain largely inflexible in the short term.

“In 2013/14, we will commence work on our longer-term property strategy in anticipation of our Canary Wharf lease expiring in 2018.”

A spokesman for the FCA says: “Our lease is up in four years’ time and we are considering all the options to make sure we get the best value for money.”

Pilot Financial Planning director Ian Thomas says: “Prime real estate in Canary Wharf is expensive and there is less justification for the FCA to be so close to the banks’ offices now that many of its duties have been given to the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

“That said, the regulator must ensure it is in a location which allows it to recruit and retain high-quality staff.”

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