An internal report has revealed FCA staff concerns over the regulator’s imminent move from Canary Wharf to Stratford, particularly over the safety of the new site.
Over an eight-week period in May, FCA staff we consulted on the regulator’s office change. Money Marketing has obtained a copy of a report from a staff committee on the feedback received.
The committee notes that reaction to the consultation was “relatively muted” with a response rate of just 10 to 15 per cent.
One of the key themes to emerge was over the security of the Stratford area where FCA staff will be based from 2018.
While some staff described Stratford as “significantly gentrified” others expressed “significant concerns” over Stratford’s safety, including over “knife crime and gangs.”
There was a “general perception that Stratford is less safe than [the FCA’s] current location” the consultation report notes, with FCA staff reassured by private security that is currently visible in Canary Wharf.
It reads: “A number stated they felt intimidated by the area, and would avoid working late or travelling outside of daylight hours wherever possible.”
Some staff said the FCA should put on a shuttle bus between the station and office, or personal security alarms on request.
The report quotes an employee survey from 2016, where 60 negative comments were received about the safety of the Stratford area compared to one positive.
Some staff suggested the FCA should hire out office space in Canary Wharf and the City so FCA staff who visit regularly have a place to work between meetings.
The FCA has decided to amend its policy so that if staff work past 9pm they can arrange a taxi home. The committee proposed further dialogue with police and local authorities over particular security concerns when sporting events were being held at the nearby Olympic stadium.
A proposal was also put forward by the committee to offer compensation for the first year to staff who incur “unavoidable” additional travel costs to get to Stratford.
However, this will not extend to those who want to catch high-speed trains into Stratford. There is also no proposal for staff with care responsibilities that are affected by the move to receive financial compensation.
The committee suggested that all staff should receive a flexible working “allowance”, for example, where they would not need to provide a reason for working from home for one day a week.
The commitee concludes: “We consider that the proposals as a whole would have benefitted from more information and detail.”
The move is costing the regulator roughly £60m.