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FCA writes off £3.2m after software blunder

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The FCA has been forced to write off £3.2m after failing to use software licences it bought, its annual report shows.

In May 2014, the regulator entered a one-year contract to purchase several software licences in which it made a prepayment in order to receive a discount.

However, the FCA says “utilisation” of the licences had “not materialised as originally anticipated” resulting in £3.2m being written off as “constructive loss”.

The contract expired in May 2015 and is not being renewed.

In addition, the FCA was forced to stump up £200,000 after failing to uprate staff pension contributions in line with pay rises.

The report shows 1,214 employees were paid the wrong pension contributions from October 2011 to July 2013.

Following an independent audit, the corrections were made and staff were compensated for investment loss while their savings were out of the market.

FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley received a £92,000 bonus for the year ending 31 March 2015, taking his total pay to £701,000.

Former FCA head of supervision Clive Adamson was paid a total of £438,000 to the end of May 2015, with a basic salary of £350,000.

In 2013/14 he was paid a total of £364,000 and a basic salary of £291,000.



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There are 19 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. A 3.2 million blunder and he still gets £92k bonus!……How does that work then?

  2. “failing to uprate staff pension contributions in line with pay rises.”

    Not one out of 1214 FCA employees noticed that their pension contributions hadn’t been increased for 18 months?

  3. Phil Robinson 3rd July 2015 at 9:28 am

    Wow, Imagine what he would have been paid if the Financial Conduct Authority (ironic eh!) had managed to break-even instead of losing £58m.
    Can’t imagine who is going to have to make up the £58m!

  4. £700,000 a year, what a moron. If IFAs lost that for clients this man would be all over the IFAs like a rash, why because it is other people’s money. Shouldn’t someone remind the FCA they are losing other people’s money.

  5. As Cole Porter so accurately said “Nice work, if you can get it – and you can get it, if you try”. But hey, come on – what’s a paltry £3.2 million in the overall scheme of things? Surely the Great British Taxpayer and/or the band of IFAs who are paying for this (I’m not sure which?), ought to be delighted that their money has gone to such a good cause. And as for an Authority specialising in Financial matters managing to pay over 1,200 employees the wrong Pension contributions for a period of 20 months, I can’t think of a more impressive display of “Financial Conduct” – which on its own would surely justify paying such well-merited rewards (totalling only just over £1 million) to the two individuals at the top of that Authority. Forget the pound, the Euro and (probably soon) the Drachma – none of these hold a candle to that indispensible currency on which so many Governments, Quangos and bureaucrats depend – namely, OPM. The beauty of Other People’s Money is that there is absolutely no limit to it; you can have as much as you want, and if you need more, then, as Neddie Seagoon so beautifully put it: “Place your hand on your wallet, and repeat after me: help yourself”!

  6. Christine Brightwell 3rd July 2015 at 9:49 am

    I know very little about IT – perhaps I can get a well paid job at the FCA! And a bonus!

  7. Barry Thompson 3rd July 2015 at 9:53 am

    Don’t do as we do – do as we say

  8. Let’s start a petition asking Mr Wheatley to pay back his bonus? Why should these incompetents get so much money for doing a bad job?

  9. Can you imagine Wheatley’s pay rise if the FCA didn’t make a mess of so many things!

  10. Julian Stevens 3rd July 2015 at 10:23 am

    £3.2m down the drain on software licences the FCA bought but failed to use, £200,000 to rectify its failure to update pension contributions for 1,214 staff, a further £58K shortfall with its DB pension scheme that will have to be made good with OPM, 6 months fully paid gardening leave for Clive Adamson (not to mention his lump sum severance settlement), a 15% pay rise for Martin Wheatley (including a £92K bonus) ~ the list goes on and on. How can Parliament continue to ignore this never-ending and appalling litany of waste?

  11. We hear a great deal about risk to the consumer from bad advice, however we don’t hear a thing about the risk to the consumer from bad, inconsistent and miss-management of the regulator (FCA) ? this is the water source (if you will) and its polluted before it even gets to us !

    There is a very good reason; I comment again and again about the FCA dogma, its nigh on impossible to disprove, but we must find a way, there is always a catalyst to spark any revolution (not in the literal sense I hasten to add)

  12. How long can the ‘leaders” of this organisation keep going on with blunder after under before someone somewhere does something to boot them out, closes the FCA and replaces it and the people with those who can actually run an organisation that is fit for purpose. It is truly insulting to have a regulator which is a incompetent.

  13. Julian Stevens 3rd July 2015 at 1:45 pm

    The FSA has already been “scrapped and replaced” so that’s not going to happen again any time soon. The only ways forward are to:-

    1. persuade Parliament that the FCA is at least as malfunctional as it was when it was the FSA and that action not mere words are required to bring it to heel.

    2. Get more powers for the TSC so that it can be a meaningful regulator of the regulator and

    3. Initiate legal action against the FCA for its wilful disregard for the Statutory Ciode of Practice for Regulators.

    APFA should be doing these things, yet all it’s done lately is “call for FCA to adopt the government’s Better Regulation programme, as if that’s going to make the slightest difference”. Let us hope that Libertatem steps up to the plate. It certainly won’t be vying with APFA for the position.

  14. Barry Thompson 3rd July 2015 at 2:57 pm

    How can Parliament continue to ignore this never-ending and appalling litany of waste?

    How much was it again that the Treasury plundered last year

  15. …come on FCA – how many qualified financial staff do you really have on your books???
    It does appear that not one of the 1214 have demonstrated a single qualification between them as yet!!

  16. The PFS / CII, IFP & IFS who are our professional bodies should be making representations to Government to point bring to attention the failings of the regulator to mange its own funds, the failings of staff at all levels, that the regulator can make as many blunders as it wants and without worry of the financial consequences, this Laissez-faire attitude is not acceptable. However I suspect that instead of acting for their members none of these organisations want to disturb their relationship with the FCA chaps & Chapeses.

  17. I am sure one of the bank fines would be sufficient to fund the FCA pension shortfall and a wholesale redundancy package, then bring regulation under the Treasury, making the elected representatives accountable, at least they can be voted out.

  18. Zanne St John Marchmont 4th July 2015 at 11:57 am

    Yet another frustrating display of incompetence! Yes our professional bodies should be jumping on this, however as an industry we need to start complaining ourselves as D H says there has to be a catalyst. I’m going to start by writing to my local MP if enough of us did that it would certainly get a political conversation started!

  19. Would a “normal” employer not be fined/investigated for failing to pay he correct pension contributions?

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