FSA fees to rise as City watchdog bares its teeth

THE Financial Services Authority (FSA) expects the fees it levies on regulated companies this year to rise by 35.8 per cent to &pound;435.5m, just under its initial prediction of &pound;437.7m.<br /><br />The increase is targeted at arming the City watchdog with sufficient resources to heighten its level of supervision, after it was accused of failing to uncover problems at lenders in the lead-up to the banking crisis.<br /><br />Deposit-taking institutions will be hit with the largest fee hikes, with levies set to rise by 109.4 per cent, while mortgage advisers will see a mere 2.7 per cent increase.<br /><br />The minimum fee, paid by all regulated firms regardless of size or type of business, will be frozen at last year&rsquo;s levels, the FSA said.<br /><br />The regulator, led by chief executive Hector Sants, also took criticism this week for paying out &pound;19.7m in bonuses to its staff, a 40 per cent increase on last year.