Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA chief admits 'We're not perfect'

FCA chief admits 'We're not perfect'

The gender pay gap at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) worsened by 0.3 per cent over the year from 2017 to 2018, but its chief executive claims the regulator is moving in the right direction.

In 2017, the gender pay gap at the FCA was 20.9 per cent, this compares with 21.2 per cent in 2018.

Speaking at the first Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (Pimfa) wealth and diversity conference today (5 February), Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said: "Yes, we went backwards by 0.3 per cent; we have more to do but our direction of travel is going in the right way.

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"While we all want the system to operate, unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

"There’s no one size fits all solution – it's no simple thing and we will want to discuss it more broadly. 

"We too are on a journey; no one's perfect. I can tell you ours isn't – it has got room for improvement."

At the end of last year the FCA stated it was "on track" to meet its gender and black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) senior leadership targets over the next decade, as the regulator bolstered its support of diversity in financial services.

At today's Pimfa event, Mr Bailey went on to discuss the FCA's future diversity targets. Currently, 39 per cent of senior leaders within the organisation are women.

The FCA's target is to get to 45 per cent by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2025.

He said: "We face some very big changes but I believe the direction of travel is in the right way.

"For any institutions to rise to these challenges; we need a mission. That is not a marketing tool – it is a reason for being."

Pimfa formed in June 2017, bringing together the Wealth Management Association and the Association of Professional Financial Advisers. 

The professional body aims to create an optimal working environment for financial service firms, to deliver their services and meet clients needs, whilst battling the copious amount of regulation within the sector.

Also speaking at the conference, Amy Clarke, co-founder of Tribe Impact Capital, pointed out that by 2025 more than 60 per cent of wealth will be in female hands. 

She said: "This is game changing – there is a profound inter-gender transfer that’s going on, and no one is talking about it."

She suggests organisations look at how women engage in capital.

"We can see a massive inter-gender transfer of wealth; we’ve heard about inter-generational, but not this, and we run the risk of missing this opportunity."

The role of values in driving the right clients to your business is important, she continued. 

"It’s about building a company that is fit for purpose and values, that will attract more women and millennials, not because it was built for them in mind but because it represents strong values."

She added: "The question to ask the organisation you work for isn’t 'whether it is fit for women', but rather, 'is it fit for the future?'"