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No further FSA fee rate increases on February figures

The FSA’s finalised fee rates for 2008/09 have remained largely at the same level as those consulted on in February, with three fee-blocks seeing a reduction.

Proposed fees have dropped for fund managers, operators, trustees and depositaries of collective investment schemes and firms dealing as principal.

In February’s consultation paper on fees and levies the FSA increased fees for small adviser firms by up to 12 per cent.

The minimum levy for a typical category A13 financial adviser employing one approved person has increased from £1,650 to £1,850. But another category A13 firm with 26 APs will see its levy rise by just 4 per cent to around £25,600.

However small firms will see a fall in Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies due to the new FSCS funding structure introduced in April.

A system of credits offered to smaller firms means an A13 adviser with one approved person should see its FSCS levy fall 83 per cent from £1,284 to less than £220.

The smallest advisory firms will not see an increase in their Financial Ombudsman Service levy, though bigger firms will see a steep rise. A category A13 sole trader will see its FOS levy frozen at £50, while firms with 26 APs will see an increase of 11 per cent to £1,300.

The FSA says the combined effect of all the changes will be an increase of around 2.5 per cent in combined FSA, FSCS and FOS levies on the industry.

FSA finance director Martin Walton says: “We are pleased that firms’ fee rates are either the same as or lower than those proposed in the consultation. However, we recognise that our planned expenditure for 2008/09 will be higher than in the previous year – this reflects the programme of activity set out in our business plan.

“We are committed to making it easier for firms to do business with us, and firms will be able to use our on-line fee calculator to get an indication of the fees they will actually pay.”

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