Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA vows 'competitive pay' amid staff strikes

FCA vows 'competitive pay' amid staff strikes
Nikhil Rathi, chief executive officer at the FCA (Image credit: © 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP)

The Financial Conduct Authority boss has said it offers “competitive pay” for its staff, despite strikes by Unite members earlier this week.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment's 30th anniversary dinner, FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi said he remains optimistic about the regulator’s future because “I will never stop listening”.

He said: “Change is hard but we are listening to staff and we are also listening to the consumers, industries and governing bodies who need us to change, and change fast, so we can perform better and meet the challenges of the future."

Within the speech, Rathi said: “Our people are our greatest resource and we believe we offer what is possibly the best package among UK regulators, with competitive pay and strong rewards for consistent performance and greater opportunity for career mobility."

Although he did not address the strike action directly in his speech, the chief executive said: “We have paid particular attention to the pressures faced by our lowest paid colleagues.”

Earlier this week (May 4) the FCA’s Unite members took part in the first day of strike action and held placards and flags complaining about changes to pay and conditions of employment.

The strike followed after members of Unite, the union which represents staff at the regulator, agreed last month to take part in a work-to-rule, meaning they would work strictly to their contracts of employment, job descriptions and working hours.

Last month, the FCA said it would recruit 80 new people to crack down on problem firms and police the market. 

At the time, Rathi said the FCA has increased efforts to stop firms with inadequate harm prevention controls from entering markets, having so far, recruited 95 people to improve the process for authorising firms

In the speech yesterday, Rathi said in a “highly competitive recruitment environment”, the FCA has attracted hundreds of new colleagues and anticipates dozens more joining in the months ahead.

“We strongly believe in development and training, the mission of the CISI, so our colleagues can fulfil their potential and go on to achieve even greater things,” he added.

“Just 18 months after starting at the FCA, I have witnessed levels of change and transformation that I was told would be too challenging, even impossible, when I first took the role. 

“Much of that transformation has been brought about by learning from our past in order to look to our future.”

Digital skills

During the speech, Rathi admitted there was much further to go in terms of his vision of being a data-led regulator. 

He explained that the FCA has been transforming to grow its expertise in the digital field.

“These digital skills are vital for both CISI members and FCA staff as the lines between tech firms and financial services have become ever more blurred,” he said.