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FCA spends £100k on just five board away days

The FCA has spent almost £100,000 on five board away days over the past five years, Money Marketing can reveal.

A freedom of information request, submitted by Money Marketing, found the regulator has spent £97,975 between 2009 and 2013 on annual two-day meetings at off-site locations for its board.

This equates to an average spend of £19,595 per year.

The FCA says it holds an off-site board meeting once a year, which takes up half a day of a two-day meeting. It says the rest of the time is given over to reviewing and setting the strategic direction of the organisation, including challenging the future business plan priorities and expenditure.

Last month Money Marketing reported the regulator had paid £14,764 to hold its November board meeting at The Grove, a five-star hotel in Hertfordshire. 

The FOI request says the FCA spent £17,123 on the away day. A spokeswoman for the FCA says £14,764 was the cost of the original invoice for the event, but this was later updated to £17,123 to include additional costs for speakers.

The spokeswoman says away days are not always held at The Grove, but declined to give further details.

Thameside Financial Planning director Tom Kean says: “The choice to hold board meetings at extravagant locations is extremely insensitive to the industry which pays for it.”

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Those in glass houses……………..

  2. If they need away days then perhaps they don’t need to be housed in the most expensive office space in Britain.

  3. Are there no conference rooms at Canary Wharf? Bacon rolls in the morning and a Buffet lunch is what the rest of us have on meeting days.

  4. Shame on you Ross, these lads are Old Etonions, bacon rolls indeed.

  5. Ah, what the hell? It’s all just OPM and the apparent oversight of the NAO is just a token box ticking exercise once a year so who, at Canary Wharf, gives a monkey’s? And what would the regulator’s response be if challenged by Andrew Tyrie? The usual metaphorical V sign, and that would be that.

    Perhaps APFA should take up the cause………

  6. Yes it’s all pretty unpalatable and I guess we are all thoroughly hacked off about it. But what’s in the past can’t be changed.

    What this should do (and I do hope those at Canary Wharf are paying attention) is to stop the practice henceforward.

    I’m afraid I agree with Paul Woolley to an extent – Ross is wrong. But these directors are quite well enough off to have had a decent breakfast at their own expense first and well afford a quick trip – again out of their own pocket – to Starbucks for lunch.

    What this article has failed to pinpoint is how much these people are paid for a few days work a year. That will send most of your blood pressures up another few notches.

  7. The whole ethos of Financial Services, cemented by the RDR is that the clients are central to everything and they should know what they are paying for at the outset.
    Should we now be detailing the cost of the FCA and their spending habits in our Client agreements because after all it’s the clients and not the advisers who are footing the bill for everthing the FCA do?

  8. Questions – is this good use of the money paid by firms (via fees charged) to the regulator? Should our fees be used for this type of thing? Does it benefit the consumers they are mandated to protect?

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