FCA staff anger reaching tipping point

Management refuse to discuss rock bottom morale and poor pay amid exodus of staff

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Unite has today (February 1) written to Nikhil Rathi CEO of the Financial Conduct Authority, the financial services regulator, to warn of widespread anger amid management’s refusal to discuss pay and staff morale with workers.

A Unite survey of staff conducted in January 2023 reveals dissatisfaction and frustration amongst employees with over half considering leaving their jobs as a result of recent decisions on pay. The regulator has imposed a below inflation 4.5 per cent pay deal.

Against this backdrop, hundreds of workers have already left the FCA over the last 18 months amid serious recruitment challenges.

Unite’s letter to Nikhil Rathi is in the form of a ‘Dear CEO’ letter calling on him to urgently rethink the FCA’s pay proposals. The FCA often writes to its regulated firms in this manner when there is serious cause for concern.

Responding to the findings of the survey, Unite national officer, Dominic Hook said, “Unite’s survey makes it clear that on Nikhil Rathi’s watch there is a serious staffing crisis at the Financial Conduct Authority.

“When 97 per cent of the survey participants report facing financial strain the imposition of a 4.5 per cent pay deal is intolerable,” he added.

“The exodus of experienced staff from the FCA is pushing the regulator towards breaking point. There are now serious questions about the FCA’s ability to keep consumers safe. On the current trajectory the public can no longer have confidence in the FCA’s ability to deliver in the public interest.

“Management must reconsider the imposition of this pay offer. Without meaningful discussions with Unite the regulator will continue to lose committed staff, leaving those who remain facing extreme challenges.”

Key findings of the survey include:

· 87 per cent of staff responding are dissatisfied with the ‘employee offer’ imposed in April 2022

· 60 per cent of participants do not know how their pay will be determined this year despite promises of greater transparency

· 88 per cent of these staff asked for a pay uplift at least in line with inflation after punishing pay cuts last year

· 97 per cent have been affected by the cost of living crisis – 50 per cent significantly so

· 61.7 per cent believe that they are not paid fairly for the work they do.

· Not surprisingly 56.7 per cent are now actively looking to leave the FCA.

In 2022 members of Unite employed at t the FCA took industrial action for the first time in the regulators history.

By Saba Edwards