Unite says more than half of FCA staff ‘actively looking to leave’

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Unite says more than half of FCA staff ‘actively looking to leave’
[Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg]Unite wrote to FCA boss Nikhil Rathi saying the regulator's latest pay package fails to meet the rising costs of living and was not consulted on by staff.
ByRuby Hinchliffe

Unite the Union has claimed more than half of the Financial Conduct Authority’s staff are actively looking to leave the City watchdog following disagreements on pay.

Today (February 1), Unite wrote to FCA boss Nikhil Rathi asking him to pay his staff “what they deserve and what they are worth”.

Yesterday, the regulator unveiled a new pay package for staff, but Unite said the FCA put this together without consulting staff. 

On the current trajectory, the public can no longer have confidence in the FCA’s ability to deliver in the public interest.Unite the Union

The FCA said it did update an internal committee on the latest pay package, but did not conduct a consultation like it did last year.

Employees below senior management level will receive a minimum 4.5 per cent pay increase.

But the FCA said the average pay rise for these staff members will be closer to 6.5 per cent, due to other factors such as performance.

Including last year's pay rise, the FCA said staff in this pay band will have received a 14 per cent pay increase on average by the end of this year.

The FCA also said “most colleagues” have received two payments totalling £1,250 over the past six months to address the cost of living crisis.

Changes to the regulator's pay structure began last year, amid pressure from industrial action - which marked the first time staff had staged at walkout at the City watchdog.

While Unite has previously tried to become the regulator’s recognised trade union, the FCA said it has not garnered enough support from within the regulator to gain statutory recognition.

'Serious staffing crisis'

A survey, conducted earlier this month by Unite and based on 500 staff responses, suggested 56.7 per cent of the FCA’s staff are now actively looking to leave the regulator.

The City watchdog employs more than 4,000 employees.

Unite said the survey drew from a “random sample” of members and non-members of Unite, with staff “at every level and department” of the regulator taking part - from graduates to directors.

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said the survey "makes it clear that on Nikhil Rathi’s watch there is a serious staffing crisis" at the FCA.

He added: “When 97 per cent of the survey participants report facing financial strain the imposition of a 4.5 per cent pay deal is intolerable.

"The exodus of experienced staff from the FCA is pushing the regulator towards breaking point."

The survey also suggested nearly a third (61.7 per cent) of staff believe that they are not paid fairly for the work they do.