FCA mega fines should fund advice
He criticised the “parasitic” rising regulatory fees advisers have to pay to the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, equating the relationship to a “parasite/host”.
He suggested that large fines should fund the FSCS rather than advisers for the next four years.
Money from regulatory fines is currently put into the Treasury.
Addressing Mark Neale, chief executive of the FSCS, Bradley said: “The biggest obstacle to consumers getting easy access to independent financial advice is cost.
“The biggest cost to financial services firms after salaries are for regulation.
“Surely it does not take too much cerebral activity to calculate that with the FCA costs of £264m plus the FSCS budget of £319m, mega fines exceeds regulatory costs by £888,431,800.”
He added: “This should mean that offsetting fines against the cost of regulation and compensation levies could give the industry ‘good guys’ a ‘fee free ride’ for over two years and those hard pressed ‘consumers’… access to financial advice at a very much reduced cost as they can benefit too from the reduction in the regulatory cost burden.
“Dare I suggest that these fines should be used to fund the FSCS? Based upon the current budget at least four years looks possible, again reducing costs for consumers.
“That would be a very moral, even sensible use of such large fines would it not Mr. Neale?”
Bradley warned that some firms may be unable to afford unpredictable fee increases going forward.