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Labour demands answers over costs of new regulator’s HQ

Shadow Treasury financial secretary Chris Leslie is pressing the Government to reveal the cost of the Prudential Regulation Authority’s new headquarters in Moorgate.

Last month, the Bank of England announced it has signed a contract for 20 Moorgate until 2027. The Bank said it will be more expensive to move from the FSA’s Canary Wharf office to Moorgate, but the additional cost will be “less than £1m per year over the next 15 years”.

This week, Leslie tabled Parliamentary questions to Chancellor George Osborne asking him to disclose the full annual and total cost of the new premises, the cost of relocating the PRA to Moorgate and for the Government to publish the terms of the lease.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Leslie says: “I am not convinced the PRA’s new offices represent best value for money. It is time ministers came clean over the ballooning costs of splitting up the FSA and published how much the new HQ  will cost, especially as last year’s white paper said transition to the new model ‘should not be materially different’ from the old FSA budget.”

Leslie urged Hoban to release the cost of the new office during the Financial Services Bill’s committee stage, but Hoban refused.

The Bank says it is important the PRA is housed near Threadneedle Street to ensure effective coordination between the two bodies.

The Financial Conduct Authority will remain in the FSA’s office in Canary Wharf.

Leslie says: “While it is vital the new regulators are robust they should also be efficient, avoiding duplicative costs where possible.”

Brunning Newman Houghton director David Brunning says: ‘Financial services firms are facing more pressure to be transparent so it is unquestionable the regulators should lead the way. We should know where our money is going.”

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Comments

There are 20 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Does it matter – it won’t be their money they’re spending!

  2. Patrick Schan 16th May 2012 at 8:52 am

    “but Hoban refused”.

    When have I heard that before?

  3. It’s good that they are taking an interest but shouldn’t Labour have been more vigilant on the crass behemoth that they set up when it was wasting everyone’s time and money during their tenure in office.
    Political point scoring only I fear!!

  4. Its only our money so what the hell !!!

    Besides its only down the road from the old Bedlem hospital so at least they will be able tp walk home !!! that should save a bit in London wieghting.

  5. Whilst this is good to see and it would be good to know, I fear it is a pointless exercise. It is a done deal and signed for and its less than £1 million MORE per year…… so thats ok then

  6. The Bank says it is important the PRA is housed near Threadneedle Street to ensure effective coordination between the two bodies.

    So that’s it then!
    I wonder if they have thought about telephones,internet,or is that they have such an enormous greedy taxi limo service that they want to get rid of.
    Just imagine lunch times,3 hours of scoffing,drinking and mucky stories,all at our expenses.
    Greedy bastards!

  7. Having set up the Circus in the first place I feel that questioning the costs of where it is to be performing is a little strange.

  8. David Parkinson 16th May 2012 at 9:36 am

    It’s ok just put another levy on IFA’s. Maybe even pay someone a bonus!!!

  9. Labour have a cheek. They are the ones who took over mortgage regulation which was done by a dozen staff in an office in Stoke, moved it to Canary Wharf employed several thousand on the same job and then managed to muck up the regulation anyway.

  10. How about putting together a PRE spend committee for ALL projects that involve spending our money.
    Common sense would have stopped over 90% of these stupid and horrendously expensive projects and made people responsible for their actions and outcomes.
    I will be delighted to head up this vitally important committee to save millions,for only £100,000 a year.
    I do not need to be greedy and make inane excuses that earning over £350,000 motivates me(stupid and insulting)
    I will work 7 days a week,use common sense ,give sound business advice without bias,and ‘I don’t have to be qualified’ to invest and save money.
    That’s right,I don’t have to be a qualified IFA!!!
    I don’t need ridiculously expensive and palatial office.
    Hundreds of staff doing nothing.
    Just the authority to stop this ludicrous situation happening each time Public money is on the table,and is managed by a lot of stupid greedy [people full of their own self importance.

  11. Julian Stevens 16th May 2012 at 10:21 am

    I still see no justification for the FCA being based in what must be one of the most expensive office blocks in the country. By all means maintain a City presence with some of the key senior people, but why can’t the rest be moved to a vastly less expensive location well outside the City (with appropriately lower salaries as well)? After all, the ICO is based in Wilmslow, so why not the majority of the FCA’s personnel? Then again, it’s just another example of the FSA’s OPM syndrome, so what the hell?

  12. Quite right Tony.
    Strange how Leslie has plenty to say in opposition yet Labour are responsible for the birth of this monster.
    Tories will be the same when they are ousted at the next election. The politicians are playing party politics with peoples lives.
    Mark Garnier has been very quiet since he refused to vote alongside Leslie for more accountability for the FSA.
    They only speak up when it highlights their own cause, which is to demean the opposition. Otherwise they could not care what the regulator and their ilk do.

  13. Wasn’t this government supposed to be cutting back on waste.
    I remember the promise that public sector would be reduced.
    Some reduction this extra £1m per year then ?

  14. Shouldn’t take them too long to find someone to fine £1m in that neck of the woods. Job done

  15. It sums it up when the think that £1 million a year is a trivial matter.

  16. Come on…all the Bank of England needs to do is send a box of money round from Threadneedle Street – fresh from the printing press!

  17. If only Labour were as interested in the cost of financial regulation when they were in power………………….

  18. So if the PRA goes to Moorgate and leaves Canary Wharf to the FCA, does this mean the whole cost of the FCA offices will be paid from our levy, whilst institutions regulated by the PRA will no longer contribute? So the two regulators will more than double office space costs, none of which will be picked up by the public purse. So much for lower red tape and regulation costs.

  19. I dont know why the PRa could not move to some cheaper offices in say the Outer Hebradies apparantly there are some very nice Ivory towers there. Failing that they all live on the Moon so why nothave their offices there.

    Now being realistic I have had to stop renting offices and work from home because I can no longer afford them because the spiraling FSA fees so why cant they all work from home!!!

  20. Surely as this is the PRA and not the FCA the money would come from the firms the PRA oversees, which would be the banks and large credit unions etc. Not IFAs, this appears to be another case of throwing up arms in the air over the wrong things again.

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