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FCA marks 100 days as FSA releases final report

On 9 July, the FCA had been in operation for 100 days. Marking the event, the regulator’s chief executive, Martin Wheatley, said, “The FCA is in many areas a very different animal from the FSA.”

Regulators need to serve the market better by “acting more swiftly”, he said, by intervening earlier and more intelligently to avoid crises down the line. “Our first 100 days are a marker of what lies ahead,” he added.

But how is the FCA doing so far? For Anna Sofat, managing director of London-based Addidi Wealth, the new regulator has, in terms of principle-based regulation and raw policy, been doing a good job, although there are still a “few bits to iron out”.

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The cost of regulation is a concern. “[It] keeps going up and needs to be contained because it feeds back to the consumer,” Ms Sofat said, adding that capital requirements for firms is also an issue and the FCA must sit back and ask what it is trying to achieve.

Elsewhere, Pete Matthew, managing director of Penzance-based Jackson Wealth Management, said he is pleased the “light touch” of the FCA’s predecessor is being rescinded. “For somebody with nothing to hide it is good news. It’s only people who have issues with compliance that complain about the regulator,” he added.

FSA annual report

July also saw the release of the FSA’s final annual report. Staff costs were £15.4m higher than originally budgeted, which it said was due to making a one-off £22m contribution to reduce the defined-benefit pension scheme to be inherited by the FCA.

However, the biggest figure to stand out in the report was former FSA chief executive Hector Sants’ salary. He earned £184,615 in the 2012/13 tax year, despite working just three months in that year. But his total pay was £530,441 due to a leaving clause entitling him to six months’ full pay and benefits.