A group of British financial advisors have challenged the expense account of the chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after figures show he has already racked up £29,738.69 in the first nine months of the year.
According to the advisors, the figures show that John Griffith-Jones expense bill is on track ‘for the largest total since the regulator was created.’
The nine month total is beaten only by the £33,017.59 bill submitted by former chief executive Martin Wheatley for 2014/15.
Costs for foreign travel at £25,000 accounts for most of Mr Griffith-Jones’ bill.
Aj Somal, of Aurora Financial Planning, says advisors need more information on how the regulator is monitoring expenses.
Controls and checks
“We need to be able to see the control and checks and I would certainly like to see more evidence on how exactly the money is being spent.
“We should be made aware of all the details involved of the costs involved because, at the end of the day, we are paying for them,” he said.
Jonathan McColgan, of Combined Financial Strategies, said: “If he is travelling to the EU to talk about Mifid II (legislation on Europe’s financial markets), then that’s probably fair enough.
“But if he is going to places like Australia and the US to talk about what regulation really means then maybe that time and money could be better spent on understanding the advice market in the UK.”
The challenge is not the first spot of adversity faced by the FCA in recent weeks.
Just a fortnight ago they escaped a vote of no confidence in the House Of Commons because the debate ran out of time before the vote could be taken.
The motion debated was: “This House believes that the FCA, in its current form, is not fit for purpose and we have no confidence in its existing structure and procedures.”
It provoked severe criticism from MPs who described the UK’s financial regulator as being ‘weak, toothless and anaemic from the very beginning.’
The FCA was created in April 2014 as the successor to the Financial Services Authority which has since come under severe criticism for the role it played in the 2008 financial crisis.