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Headhunters say FSA wages must rise to attract quality staff

A leading head hunting consultancy says the FSA should increase salaries to attract staff capable of carrying out a more interventionist regulatory approach.

The FSA is set to split into two new regulators in 2013 and its chief executive Hector Sants says the new approach for both the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority will include more direct interventions.

According to the Financial Times, Hedley May says the regulator needs to increase its industry funded budget by a third from the £500.5m it has this year to ensure the quality of staff.

Hedley May founding partner Nick Hedley says: “The good £250,000 person can move for £500,000 and the good £500,000 person can wove to the private sector for £200,000. You need to close that gap. There are plenty of industry people whom we talk to who say: ‘I thought about going to the regulator but I did not want to take the pay cut’.”

The FSA has struggled to hold on to staff despite wages rising 22 per cent in the past fine years.

At recent conferences announcing the new approach of the regulators, Sants has said the right staff will be key to their success, accepting that finding them could be a challenge.

Announcing the approach of the PRA in May, he said: “It is however, not an impossible task. Individuals can be found who recognise the rewarding nature of the role in the wider sense and are attracted to the concept of public service.”


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There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Rocket_Scientist 18th July 2011 at 9:19 am

    I’ll avoid the subject of the FSA more generally and just pose this question: Would these be the same headhunters who are renumerated by a % of the salary of the person placed?

    One assumes of course that these headhunters are at least Chartered Fellows of the CIPD, with a file full of detailed unbiased analysis to support their recommendation and of course it should be fair and reasonable to expect them to offer the FSA the option to pay a pre-published flat fee regardless of the salary of the employee and the commercial risk this business may or may not expose them to over the rest of their life.

  2. “The good £250,000 person can move for £500,000 and the good £500,000 person can move to the private sector for £200,000.”

    Well, with that sort of grasp of figures, he must be right. (Ok, it’s probably the sub-editor’s fault.)

    Anyway, this isn’t news, anyone in the political classes constantly says this. And the correct response remains “then why don’t you?”

  3. Tim Harrop-Griffiths 18th July 2011 at 9:50 am

    I am sick and tired of the self serving drivel which we are constantly being fed.

    Is this guy seriously suggesting that we need to consider paying our regulators £500,000 a year??

    What a prat!

  4. Go Ahead-they may just price themselves out of business!

  5. No the FSA shouldn’t offer either bigger salaries than it does already. It should look to ways of cutting its overheads, starting with relocating three quarters of its staff well outside London. Half a billion pounds a year is already way too much for a regulator with such a litany of failures to its record. More and more money is not the answer. A good starting point would be a very great deal more accountability.

    I wonder of Adair Turner is a major shareholder in the recruitment agency making this statement?

  6. Julian beat me to it…
    If the FSA had regional offices, instead of basing EVERYTHING at Canary Wharf, they could select from a wider geographic pool of candidates.
    Whilst there may be an argument for City based regulation for what goes on IN the city, the supervision of advisers can and should be carried out from outside London.
    A satalite in the Midlands, West Country and Sussex/Surrey/Kent borders would result in a much larger catchement area of those who do NOT want to live or communte to London.

  7. An estimated drop of 20% in adviser numbers, coupled with a 33% increase in the FSA budget will need a 66% increase in fees. As I shall be 70 in 2012 I am glad I am going, after 40 complaint free years.years

  8. The FSA is paid by those in the private sector, not by tax payers.

    If they cannot do the job on £1/2 Billion a year then you really have to ask if they are “overpaid” not “underpaid”.

    This guy is just gaining publicity for his business if you ask me.

    A regulator that has failed time and time again and whose costs and salaries have increased year on year with little benefit.

    Why not just tell them to name their salary, we have to pay either way ??!!

    One day I hope some commercial sense is brought into the regulation industry as it is money for nothing and produces little real value if you look at their track record so far.

  9. Dennis Haggerty 18th July 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I prepared to move for £200k – where do I send my CV? With many in this industry fighting for their business lives and good people looking over their shoulder at potential redundancy coming their way, a nice cushy job with the regulator makes it worthwhile taking a pay cut!

    I also don’t mind working in a regional ivory tower if it helps the budget. How hard is it to find fault with what other people do in the commercial world without the worry of actually having to prove you can generate a penny of income yourself.

    Insulated from the slings and arrows of commercial reality and a history of never being held to account for past mistakes….. that requires a financial incentive to attract staff??

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