Union in pay warning to Financial Conduct Authority amid restructuring

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Unions have formally written to the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over fears that a restructuring being pushed through will see workers’ take-home pay fall.

Unite the union, which is seeking legal recognition from the City regulator, said there were “grave concerns” over the consultation which is due to close in a week.

Members accused chief executive Nikhil Rathi of running a consultation that “lacks transparency” and could seriously damage the regulator’s ability to carry out its work as staff leave.

Nikhil Rathi, FCA chief executive (FCA/PA)

“Despite Unite having spent months calling for more information and for the FCA to have meaningful discussions with its workforce, the management continue to dismiss staff concerns and have thus far failed to justify these damaging proposals.

“Unite the union will continue to speak up for the regulator’s employees who the leadership simply dismiss as making ‘noise’. The dedicated and committed workforce in London and Edinburgh deserve much better treatment than they are currently receiving.”

Members say the new plans will see most staff’s pay cut by at least 10%, with senior executives having their pay bands increased.

The FCA has said previously pay bands were being adjusted to ensure lower paid staff received higher salaries.

However, the organisation has scrapped performance-related bonuses, meaning take-home pay for many is set to fall.

Unite’s latest intervention comes as the FT revealed the FCA is recruiting private law firms to help process applications for new recruits following reports of high numbers of departures.

According to the FT, the regulator has spent almost £1 million on headhunters this year to stem the tide of staff quitting, although the FCA says retention levels are at typical levels.

Mr Rathi defended the restructuring to MPs last week, telling them there would be “noise” about the changes for some time but they were necessary.

An FCA spokesperson said: “The package we are consulting on means we will continue to offer one of the best and most competitive packages of any regulator or enforcement agency in the UK.

“Our consultation focuses on lower paid colleagues – 800 of whom will receive a pay increase of, on average, £3,800 under the proposals.

“We have been listening to colleagues and have set out those areas where we are considering adjusting our proposals in response to feedback. We will continue to listen to colleagues as the consultation draws to a close.”

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