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MS Leader: Hold the FSA to account

When it comes to service, the mantra ’you get what you pay for’ often rings true. But in terms of the Financial Services Authority, this does not seem to be the case.

This week we look at how the FSA has spent £4.5m in the past 12 months on recruiting 737 staff – around £6,151 for every recruit. While this figure might seem shocking, when you take into account that the average cost to a firm of filling a vacancy for a senior manager is £7,500, it does not seem so out of hand.

But what is extraordinary is that 737 staff have joined its Canary Wharf offices in the past 12 months.

Some exits are to be expected ahead of the creation of the twin peaks regulatory model next year but to many an average of two staff a day joining would suggest something is amiss.

To the outside world, the regulator seems to have a bottomless pit of money but does not seem to be accountable as to how it is spent. As Mortgage Strategy campaigns to bring down broker fees, no doubt many firms would like to see the regulator audited to ensure it is spending its money wisely.

Meanwhile, the industry is waiting to see whether the government’s latest scheme will boost mortgage lending. The idea is that the government lends to banks at a discounted rate if they agree to pass on the rate cut by lowering mortgage rates.

This has already led some commentators to predict it could help boost lending in 2012 – but as with all these things, the devil will be in the detail.

To voice your support for our Bring Down FSA Fees campaign, email Mortgage Strategy’s editor Robert Thickett at, making sure you put ’Bring Down FSA Fees’ in the subject line.



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FSA spending on staff recruitment hits £4.5m

A Freedom of Information request submitted by Mortgage Strategy reveals the regulator has recruited 737 staff in the past 12 months, spending on average around £6,151 for every new recruit. The figures indicate the rate at which staff are leaving jobs with the regulator. Earlier this year, it was revealed there was a 30% surge […]

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