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Third of FSA staff expect to leave in two years

Only around half the FSA’s 2,740 staff expect to be working at the regulator in two years time, according to a confidential staff survey.

Asked what they intend to be doing in two years, 54 per cent anticipate that they will still be at the regulator while 34 per cent expect to have left.

Chief executive Hector Sants revealed the results of the annual survey to Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price in response to a Parliamentary question.

Sants said staff turnover at the FSA was 13.3 per cent in 2007. He put this down to the FSA’s performance management process and headhunting from other institutions.

Sants said: “We recruit a large number of experienced hires with direct market experience. Equally, industry values the skills and knowledge that people gain by working at the FSA. This cross-fertilisation between the firms and markets we regulate and the regulator is important for the depth and breadth of knowledge within the FSA and helps to ensure that we have the skills to regulate effectively. Inevitably, this leads to some staff turnover which we consider to be positive and healthy.”

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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