APFA call for FCA budget freeze

Chris Hannant, APFAThe FCA should commit to a budget freeze for three years and ensure that financial penalties should be used to fund the Financial Services Compensation Scheme says the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA).

Responding to the FCA’s consultation on regulated fees and levies for 2016/17 APFA welcomed savings made by the FCA but called for a number of changes including greater clarity on the regulatory boundary on the consumer credit permission and a requirement for claims management firms (CMCs) to be required to pay a fee to FOS when submitting a claim.

APFA director general Chris Hannant says: “In an era of austerity, when government is seeking to exercise budgetary restraint and balance the books, regulatory bodies such as the FCA should be looking to do the same.  Although we welcome the savings the FCA has made this year, we would like to see a commitment to a three-year budget freeze to help cut the regulatory burden on advisers and cut the cost of advice to consumers.

“We also need to see more timely consultation on fees.  In previous years the FCA has asked for views in January or February which was sensible timing as the proposed fee arrangements start in early April. However, in both 2015 and 2016, FCA consultations have closed after the time period has started – which cannot be right. Consulting with stakeholders so late makes a mockery of it as a genuine consultation process.”