FSA exec pay jumps along with fee bill

EXECUTIVES at the Financial Services Authority came under fire from the City yesterday after seeing their pay packets swell despite a rocketing fee bill for regulated firms.

Outgoing chief executive Hector Sants was paid £742,011 for 2009/10, up 19 per cent on last year. £500,000 of that was his basic salary and £134,011 came in the form of benefits, though he diffused some of the tension by donating his £108,000 performance-related bonus to charity.

Chairman Lord Turner is not eligible for a bonus but took home £482,442 in salary and benefits – almost twice as much as the £246,546 he received in the prior year.

News of the pay deals came as the FSA revealed that it had pocketed £435.5m in fees from regulated firms over the past year – over a third more than it received in the 2008/9 financial year.

The increase acted like a red rag to City firms, particularly smaller independent operators struggling to pay the inflated fees. The boss of one boutique corporate finance adviser told City A.M. the fees were “out of control”.

However, the FSA will this year introduce a new fee structure which it claims will reduce fees for over 60 per cent of firms.

The FSA’s 3,150 full-time staff shared a bonus pool of £22m, equivalent to 13.8 per cent of the total salary bill of £159.4m. Including staff costs, the regulator spent £391.7m on ongoing regulatory activities over the year, during which it introduced a new hard-line approach to industry malpractice.

In total, the FSA imposed 46 fines with a total value of £33.6m, published 56 prohibitions and convicted three individuals of insider dealing.