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.”