The FCA paid almost £15,000 for an away day and overnight stay for its board at a five-star hotel in Hertfordshire last year.
The regulator chose to hold its November board meeting at The Grove Hotel following an away day the previous day. The hotel has hosted the England football team, musicians and was the venue for the Bilderberg Group meeting of the world’s top political and business leaders last June.
The total cost of the stay was £14,764, covering a one night stay for 19 board members and a two night stay for support staff. FCA staff arrived on 5 November to set up the away day and take board minutes for the meeting held on 7 November.
It is unclear why the board meeting was not held at the FCA’s Canary Wharf offices.
A spokeswoman for the FCA says: “Board away days are standard practice. The FCA seeks to ensure the cost of any external events offers value for money.”
Chadney Bulgin mortgage partner Jonathan Clark says: “This is some kind of away day. Hopefully the meeting was used to discuss freezing or even reducing FCA fees for the adviser community and therefore representing good value, but somehow I doubt it.”