The FSA paid travel and accommodation costs to send two supervisors from Scotland on a TCF visit to a firm located just an hour’s tube journey from Canary Wharf.
The principal of the firm, who does not want to be named, says: “The FSA sent two officers to our office from Scotland and, as well as travel costs, these guys stayed at a hotel overnight, which probably sent the cost soaring.
“For a fairly routine visit, why did the FSA not use two officers from Canary Wharf? If this example is repeated for many other visits in London and the home counties, it is no wonder the FSA’s costs are soaring.”
Last week, FSA managing director Jon Pain warned that the regulator will need to continue to increase its staff budget to implement its new intensive supervision approach and provide training to supervisors.
The regulator refused to comment on how often Scotland-based supervisors are sent to firms in and around London.
A spokeswoman says: “When we send supervisors out, it is a case of deploying people with the best skills and expertise to conduct that visit. To be able to properly assess firms, we need to send a suitably qualified supervisor.
“Our visits are conducted regionally, so a supervisory team will go to a region and see a number of firms in that area during the one trip.”
Philip J Milton and Company managing director Philip Milton says: “This does not demonstrate any sensitivity at the current time when a lot of people are suffering. The FSA is simply saying, we are not suffering and we are going to continue to put our costs up. I do not think that is the right approach.”