The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed its levy for advisers in 2016/2017 will be £73.7m.
This year’s levy is a 1.6 per cent decrease on the bill advisers had to pay last year.
In an 86-page paper published last week, the regulator revealed it has come under fire from “a trade body representing financial advisers”, which commented that in recent years the March/April consultation papers (CPs) on fees and levy rates have been scheduled to close long after the actual changes have come into effect in early April.
This is in contrast to the October to November consultation papers, which close in January to February.
The trade body argued that consulting at such a late stage means it is not a consultation in any real sense of the word, and the FCA is failing in its obligation to consult.
But the regulator hit back, stating it is meeting the obligation to consult on fees and levy rate rules.
The FCA stated: “The consultations through the March/April CPs relate to the draft fees and levy rate rules which are proposed to apply to a fee-year which runs from 1 April to 31 March. The consultation closes at the end of May.
It added: “Following that consultation and taking into account responses received, the fees levy rate rules are made by our board in June with a commencement date (when the rules come into force) shortly after, and the final fees and levy rate rules are published (end of June/early July) in a policy statement together with our feedback on the responses received to the consultation.”
By way of example, CP16/9 consulted on the draft fees and levy rate rules for fee-year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, the paper noted.
The consultation closed on 27 May 2016, with responses taken into account and the FCA’s board making final fees and levy rates rules on the 23 June for commencement 1 July, from when invoices are sent out to firms.