MPs push for two-year FCA fee freeze

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Three MPs have launched a motion in Parliament to call for a two-year freeze on FCA fee increases in a bid to improve access to advice.

In an early day motion filed this morning, Labour MP Alan Meale, Conservative MP Peter Bottomley and Northern Ireland’s SDLP MP Mark Durkan argue any further increases in regulatory costs would impair access to affordable advice in the aftermath of pension freedoms.

The MPs cited figures from Apfa showing advice firms spend 12 per cent of revenue on regulation.

The motion states: “[This house] calls on the Government to take steps towards demands for a real-term freeze in FCA regulatory fees for a minimum of two years to ensure investors are better able to acquire access to professional financial advice.”

Early day motions rarely reach debate in the House of Commons, but are used by MPs to raise attention to issues considered important.

It is possible for the most popular to be cited during parliamentary debates or questions.

The total levied by the FCA on advisers who do not hold client money increased by 10 per cent for 2015/16, climbing from £68m to £74.9m.

The minimum fee also climbed for the first time in four years, rising from £1,000 to £1,084.

An FCA spokeswoman says the regulator consults on its fees on an annual basis.

She says: “We are always conscious of the cost of regulation, which is why we work to ensure our requirements are proportionate.”

The motion comes a day after the Government launched a consultation paper on the availability of advice, with responses expected by 22 December.