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Staff exodus gathers pace at regulator

The FSA saw staff resignations rise by 128 per cent in the second quarter of this year after the Government unveiled plans to break up the regulator.

A total of 121 staff quit from the start of April to the end of July, compared with 53 resignations in the same period last year, according to data from Reynolds Porter Chamberlain obtained under a freedom of information request.

This represented a 95 per cent rise on the 62 resignations seen in the first quarter of this year, the law firm says.

The total number of staff to quit in the first half of the year was 183 – more than the total number of resignations in 2009.

A total of 3,600 people work at the FSA and the regulator says while 121 staff quit in the second quarter 328 people accepted jobs during the same period.

RPC partner Jonathan Davies says: “This kind of exodus cannot have a positive impact on the FSA’s ability to function.”

Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to give many of the FSA’s powers to the Bank of England in his first Mansion House speech on June 16, with the rest going to a new Consumer Protection and Markets Agency.

Hunter & Co founder Robin Hunter says a situation where staff jump several times between working in the private sector and working for a regulator could be a concern. He says: “The worry is people jumping from gamekeeper to poacher and back again.”

He adds the FSA exodus might also reflect an announcement in late June that FSA staff who move to the Bank of England will not be included in the bank’s finalsalary pension scheme.

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