FCA chair defends regulator bosses pay

During the final Financial Services Authority meeting, John Griffith-Jones, chairman of the FCA, said he felt the pay received by bosses at his regulator and the old City watchdog were “appropriate”.

At a meeting in London this morning (18 July), Mr Griffith-Jones argued the pay of senior executives was set by a remuneration board that had to arrive at an appropriate amount by balancing the need to reasonable with levy payers money with the need to attract the best people to do the job.

When asked how he could justify his pay packet being bigger than his US counterparts, Mr Griffith-Jones said: “In the context of the competitive environment in which we operate as the FSA and FCA the levels of senior pay are considered appropriate on an ongoing basis by the board.

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“I arrive at the organisation new and I am satisfied that our ongoing arrangements are broadly speaking appropriate for the jobs that they do.

“They are subject to intensive public scrutiny. It could be the source of public debate in the future.”

When asked why Sir Hector Sants, former chief executive of the FSA, was paid for six months after he left the regulator, contributing to a salary of more than £530,000 for the 2012 to 2013 financial year, Mr Griffith-Jones admitted his contract included the same clause - meaning he will be paid for half a year when he decides to leave the FCA.

Mr Sants continued pay meant he only earnt about £300,000 less from the FSA in the 2012 to 2013 tax year than he did the previous tax year - despite the fact he only remained with the watchdog for three of those months.

Mr Griffith-Jones said Mr Sants had in his contractual entitlements that on leaving the FSA he was continued to be employed by the FSA for a further six months, during which time he was fully entitled to his pay and benefits.

He said: “He (Sants) was unable, during this time, to take paid employment with another organisation. This is caused exclusion leave. The effect is to balance the need for protection with the cost of keeping people on the bench for an unnecessarily long period of time.

“Similar arrangements are in place for other organisations of this type. It is what the contractual arrangements for the FCA also contain.”