Charge those who are at fault: FCA on listed Cos

In its 33-page Quarterly Consultation CP13/18, issued at the tail end of 2013, the regulator outlined a series of changes to its regulatory regime, including scrapping its previous target of responding to waiver requests within 20 business days.

Among the changes was a proposal to implement a £250 administration charge on any listed firm that does not comply with the UK Listing Authority’s rules to file reports under the disclosure and transparency rules. If they are late, the FCA said, it can cost up to £250 to deal with breaches and correcting any failures.

The FCA said: “At present these costs are being recovered through fees paid by the wider population of issuers. We believe this is unreasonable and that costs should instead fall on the issuers that are generating the work.”

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While this is not the practice adopted in relation to other financial services failures, such as Arch Cru and Keydata, where the costs are being levied across the advisory community, the FCA said in this case only those listed companies who breach their deadlines will be charged.

Adviser view

Danny Cox, spokesman for Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, which is listed on the FTSE100, said he thought charging an admin fee to those who were late was reasonable.

He said: “While £250 is not a big deterrent, given the size of some of the listed companies, if you set a deadline, you have to make sure people hit it.

“While the FCA has not said it will reduce the overall fees for every listed firm, it is important that firms comply with the rules and it is good that the FCA will recover costs from those who fail to meet the criteria.”