In an update this week (August 2), the FCA published the summary of allowances and expenses for 2020-21, alongside the ones for this quarter, where it saw that almost all of its executive directors and non-executive directors did not claim at all.
While there were some minor costs in the full year data for some such as a background check of £23.00 for chief executive Nikhil Rathi and a working from home IT subscription of £57.56 for former interim chief executive Christopher Woolard, for the majority of everyone else this remained at £0.
This is a stark contrast to the figures from 2019-20 where in the summary of allowances and expenses claimed by chairman Charles Randell, including hospitality given outside of the FCA for the full year, his figure was £2,175.31 compared to £0 for the most recent year.
His expenses were all linked to foreign and domestic travel, totaling £1,147.45 in the first quarter, £619.55 in the second, £121.20 in the third and £287.11 in the fourth.
Comparatively, former FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey’s total expenditure and allowances for 2019-20 stood at £36,388.48, which was also down to foreign and domestic travel.
His expenses totaled £12,276.75 for Q1, £9,658.11 for Q2, £12,973.24 for Q3 and £1,480.38 for Q4.
However, for the most recent figures, almost all executive directors and non-executive directors did not claim any expenses for the first quarter of the 2021-22 year.
This comes as last year, during the pandemic, the government had restricted all travel and a large number of these restrictions were only lifted this year.
Nearly all of the FCA’s employees have worked from home since the announcements last year in March 2020 but the office remains open for those who cannot work from home.
FTAdviser understands that the FCA expects its hybrid working model to continue which will mean more virtual meetings for all staff – including senior staff – and will naturally drive down costs in this area for the future. Any policies relating to expenses have not changed but are constantly under review.
At the time of the initial lockdown, the FCA had warned financial advisers to not work from an office or meet clients face-to-face during the coronavirus lockdown.
It had said it expected advisers to support clients online or over the phone, with few exceptions.
The watchdog said employers should be taking "every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home", including providing IT equipment.