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FSA staff exodus gathers pace

The FSA has seen a 30 per cent surge in the number of staff leaving ahead of the new twin peaks regulatory model, with 430 permanent employees quitting last year.

A freedom of information request, submitted by Money Marketing, shows the number of staff leaving the FSA rose from 330 in 2010 to 430 in 2011, a turnover rate of around 11 per cent.

The number of staff leaving has more than tripled since 2009 when 129 left the regulator.

Of the 430 staff who left during 2011, 47 earned over £100,000. In 2010, 31 FSA staff on salaries over £100,000 left, compared to nine in 2009. So far this year, 105 permanent employees have left, with 22 paid in excess of £100,000.

As at the end of March 2012, the FSA employed 3,885 full-time equivalent staff, compared with 3,909 in March 2011. Of those, 320 permanent FSA staff earn a salary of between £100,000 and £199,999, excluding benefits or bonuses.

Thirteen FSA staff earn bet-ween £200,000 and £299,999 and “fewer than 10” earn in excess of £300,000.

The FSA did not provide comparative figures for 2011 but in May the number of staff earning over £100,000, including non-permanent staff, was around 389. This figure inc-ludes any bonuses paid.

As part of the FSA’s recent business plan for 2012/13, chief executive Hector Sants warned the resources required to deliver the new regulatory landscape, which will see the FSA split into the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority early next year, will significantly increase costs. The FSA budget for 2012/13 has risen by 15 per cent from £500.5m in 2011/12 to £578.4m.

Sants announced last month he is leaving the regulator at the end of June. He will continue to receive his annual £500,000 salary plus benefits until the end of December.

Former conduct business unit managing director Margaret Cole left the FSA last month to join PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Lansons director of regulatory consulting Richard Hobbs says: “In effect, the FSA is training the compliance staff of the private sector. The political decision to break up the FSA has caused uncertainty and doubt. Senior figures have also left, which has an impact on staff lower down.

“I do not believe that high staff turnover is a good thing as it means the FSA’s corp- orate memory and all its regulatory experience has gone out the window.”

An FSA spokesman says: “Staff turnover levels fell dur- ing the crisis but are now starting to return to the level you would expect as recruitment picks up in the financial serv- ices sector and competition for skilled staff increases.”


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There are 24 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “I do not believe that high staff turnover is a good thing as it means the FSA’s corp- orate memory and all its regulatory experience has gone out the window.”


    I think your meant “corporate forgettery”

    And “regulatory failure”

  2. Maybe, just maybe it is time to revisit the whole regulatory industry to put it in some kind of working order that is fit for purpose. I dont think there is anyone who thinks we are better off without one but I am sure the entire industry would welcome a regulator that A) understands the indusrty, B) knows what they are doing and C) works with the industry to make it better by having sensible rules that do not hinder or stifle us. You still have time to save face Hector by admitting it has been a catestrophic failure “in the round” to quote one of your favourite phrases. Bring it to a halt now and redesign the whole thing.

  3. Rodents and submerging aquatic surface transport comes to mind.

  4. “The FSA did not provide comparative figures for 2011 but in May the number of staff earning over £100,000, including non-permanent staff, was around 389. This figure inc-ludes any bonuses paid.”

    “Of the 430 staff who left during 2011, 47 earned over £100,000. In 2010, 31 FSA staff on salaries over £100,000 left, compared to nine in 2009. So far this year, 105 permanent employees have left, with 22 paid in excess of £100,000.”

    Have I got this wrong (more than likley) but 389 out of 430 equates to over 90% of these people are earning over £100K.

    I seriously am in the wrong job


  5. Wow, Apart from premiership footballers, I can’t think of another organisation where almost 9% of the staff earn over £100,000.

  6. Financial Reporting Council – responsible for corporate governance through the Corporate Governance Code, setting standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial practice, influencing international standards, and monitoring the implementation of accounting and auditing standards in the UK and the regulatory activities of the professional accountancy and actuarial bodies and operate independent disciplinary arrangements for public interest cases involving accountants
    and actuaries – average staff numbers in 2010/11 was 102. FSA – average staff numbers in 2010/11 was 3,291. Need one say any more?

  7. I was at one of these farcical ‘business risk awareness’ workshops, coerced there by an FSA Lubianka invitation.

    One of the things they were drivelling about was the warning signs of high staff turnover….. errr thanks for teaching me to suck eggs.
    Poor corporate governance, poor communication with staff, lack of reward for good practice or initiative, poor terms and conditions, uncertainty.

    Seems like it’s endemic at the FSA. Either that or the FSA staff have been taking the recent Titanic mini series to heart and are baling out before the leviathan slips below the waters. Captain Hector took the first lifeboat though. Job done Hector. A real example to us all

  8. So does this mean that the FSA or new regulator will recruit qualified staff from now on and not just jobs for the boys in Banks !!!

  9. I would like to know how on earth Sants can leave the FSA at the end of June but still receive full pay & benefits for a further 6 months??? Did he jump or was he pushed??
    Whoever negotiated & agreed to this should be reminded, in no uncertain terms, that this is OUR MONEY – on second thoughts, who am I kidding, they couldn’t care less!!
    The gravy train rolls on!

  10. Gerald Lambourne 19th April 2012 at 10:20 am

    I have just checked our firm which comprises a total of 16 directors, staff and advisers. Strangely enough 0% of these are earning over a £100,000. And yet am I not right in thinking that we IFA’s pay for the FSA where 10% of the staff are paid over £100,000 pa?
    Does this not make the fleas bigger than the dog?
    Also in the real world if you leave a job your pay stops the day you leave – why is it different in Mr Sants world?

  11. With so much flak being directed at bankers bonuses and the general corporate greed I wonder why this (dis)organisation hasn’t had more publicity. At least banks and plcs actually bring something to the party 🙂
    The word “parasites” springs to mind.
    Right, I’m off to re-read the ethics bit of my RO1 manual!!!

  12. Peter Davies @ Create Wealth 19th April 2012 at 10:42 am

    I find it quite incredible that the FSA have over 3,800 staff.

  13. As I have said before the FSA is competing with the government on unemployment.

  14. I can understand bonuses being paid where sales performance or profits are rewarded. Other than turning up for work, what can these people possibly be getting paid bonus for?

    Ignoring bonuses, what do these people do to be earning more than doctors?

    “In effect, the FSA is training the compliance staff of the private sector”

    This says it all really, use taxpayer money to pay over-inflated salaries and bonuses so they can then join their friends in the private sector.

    And the justification for increasing the FSA budget? They need to pay people more to keep them…

  15. They are all aware that they have created a monster which is out of control and the chaos it has created will come out post 31/12. They all want to be away before this happens and can claim”it was not in our watch” I really do think that anyone in the industry has realised the outcomes of what has happended.

  16. It’s just possible (bear with me) that at least some of the leavers have experienced a crisis of conscience and are:-

    1. privately sickened by the way in which the FSA is run,

    2. what is being done to the industry as a result,

    3. by its total lack of accountability and

    4. the lies and selective use of data routinely peddled in support of the FSA’s position of various issues.

    Just a thought.

  17. I think the point is being missed. These are the staff being induced by bigger salaries to do a protective role in financial services companies ahead of 2013. Think how useful they are with their insider knowledge.
    Something like gamekeeper turned poacher……..on either side of the fence they still lead solitary lives.

  18. What a monster and unfortunately a legalised racket.

    How easy must it be to dream up regulations constantly and then fine hard working practitioners for making slip ups, then pay yourselves handsomely from annual levies that are non negotiable!!!!

    All the industry really needed was well qualified advisers, doing their best, backed by research with client redress if malpractice could be proved. The FSA is truly the definition of “Black Hole”

  19. @Old Dog

    You beat me to it – read next weeks column

  20. I think we’ve just received a lesson in the meaning of the word ‘parasite’.

  21. So they are leaving because “recruitment is picking up in the financial services sector and competition for skilled staff is increasing”. Which financial services sector is that ? Oh, the one for jobsworths and placement who contribute nothing !

    Yet a high proportion of these leaches are being paid (notice I didn’t say earning) in excess of £100,000 pa plus bonuses plus perks plus a gold-plated pension.

    4,000 people ! Four thousand. Four bloody thousand – it’s difficult to contemplate how we have gotten into this situation. And remember, for every FSA person there are 10 or 20 more employed in the compliance “industry”.

    AND FOR WHAT ???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Next month, my network fees will rise by 82% to cover increased FSCS costs. That means for a two man IFA practice that has never even received a complaint in 21 years, I am now paying £1000 a month per adviser, of which around £700 will be FSCS money. Larceny.

    Hector Sants, who would nail the likes of you or I to the wall for charging for services we hadn’t delivered, blithely takes £41,667 a month for 6 months – that £250,000 of our money which, in reality, is actually our CLIENTS money in the final analysis. This is for doing precisely three tenths of sweet s#d all for 6 months whilst he will, no doubt, also be lining his pockets in addition from elsewhere. Hypocrisy AND Larceny.

    This obscenity has to stop.

  23. I once looked into joining the FSA. Let’s face it, they earn more than a lot of IFAs and have considerably better benefits.

    However, there is a moral dilemma (obvious to most IFAs) and I have read all the critics comments on here and agree that how do you justify a regulator who receives bonuses (and for what) then get great jobs in the private sector when they have mucked up their own role. The very people they were tasked to help are now abandoned, the rich get richer and the rest can rot. I know the meaning of what goes around, comes around, and all of these people need to be careful in future.

    In hindsight a bit of me wished I went for the job but frankly I just couldn’t live with myself.

  24. Awww! C’mon guys and gals!
    They need over £100,000 salary to survive in London.

    Keep this thought!

    If the BBC can move programmes to Salford, because it is cheaper, why not have the FSA based here, make all the staff move home to the damper part of the country and therefore no need for hosepipe bans down south.

    The fact that we now have all this wonderful info on who gets paid and what, what difference is it going tomake to us or the man in the street.


    No one is going to curb the excessive expenditure of this unfit organisation because it is manned by the “old boys” network of banking execs.

    Bad day in paradise!

    This is the best country in the world to live in, unfortunately we do not have the best people running it or our institutions and regulators.

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