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Unite calls FCA pay proposals ‘a grave error’

Unite calls FCA pay proposals ‘a grave error’

The Financial Conduct Authority’s union Unite has claimed the regulator's pay proposals are a “grave error”.

Earlier today (March 1), the FCA set out a new employment offer designed to reward performance, aid career development and close pay gaps. 

The regulator said this follows an “extensive, wide-ranging and comprehensive consultation” with all FCA colleagues and the staff consultative committee.  

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In response to the FCA announcement, Dominic Hook, national officer at Unite, said: “The pay proposals today by the FCA are a grave error and will be significantly harmful for a large number of loyal, experienced and long serving staff.”

As part of the FCA’s offer, around 800 of its lowest paid colleagues will receive average salary increases of £4,310 to the minimum of a new pay benchmark, with other salary increases and performance related pay, taking overall increases for them to an average of around £5,500. 

These increases come with higher pension contributions and flexible benefits.   

Additionally, colleagues who meet their performance targets, approximately 85 per cent of colleagues, will receive salary increases of at least 5 per cent this year and 4 per cent in 2023.  

Those who have not met their objectives this year will be given assistance to meet their performance objectives.

The City watchdog said the changes, including updates to the proposals consulted upon, will mean that the FCA provides “one of the best reward packages” of any regulator or enforcement agency in the UK.

The FCA will also pay colleagues meeting their performance objectives a one-off back-dated cash payment equivalent to 4 per cent of salary in April in recognition of the changed economic environment since the consultation was launched in September last year.

The FCA has confirmed that discretionary cash bonuses will be removed for all staff from next year, with the final bonuses paid to the highest performing FCA colleagues in April 2022.

Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the FCA said: “I’m hugely grateful for the time colleagues have spent contributing to the consultation and I understand the strength of feeling about some of the changes we are making. We have welcomed the open debate and discussion and, with the board, considered all the feedback we have received.

"We believe we have developed a fair, competitive, and sustainable offer that will help us achieve our regulatory objectives, as well as diversity goals, that supports the lowest paid and the strongest performers, with most colleagues receiving a minimum salary increase of over 9 per cent over the next two years and an average of over 12 cent over that period.”

However, Hook has urged Rathi to do "the right thing".

He said: "The FCA should get to the negotiating table with Unite and hear from the Unite workplace representatives in order to ensure they do not do irreparable damage to this regulator.”

This comes as earlier this month, the FCA’s Unite members voted ‘yes’ in support of industrial action against the regulator.