How we decide rates for annual fees

Find out about the yearly round of consultations and policy proposals that we use to set fees for the next financial year. 

Each year, starting in October, we begin to develop the fee rates and fees policy for the coming financial year (April to March).

At the end of this process, from July to September, we invoice firms for payment of their annual fees based on the fee rates and policy we develop.

This process is our ‘annual fee cycle’.

Fee cycle: step by step

Step 1 – October to November

We propose updates or changes to specific parts of our fees policy, for example:

  • new fees
  • fees for new activities or types of firm
  • changes to our calculations or data requirements

We then consult on these proposed changes.

Step 2 – 31 December

Firms should use this date to calculate most of their tariff data for the forthcoming fee year which is then collected in step 3. This ‘reporting date’ will be:

  • for the 12 months ending 31 December
    or
  • for the firm’s financial year that ended during the calendar year ending 31 December

The ‘reporting date’ varies depending on the tariff data being calculated. Please see Part 5 of FEES4 Annex 1A for further details.

From this data we work out the fee rates for the coming financial year (April to March).

Step 3 – January to March

In January we write to firms where we do not have the tariff data from their regulatory returns. A tariff data request form is sent to firms and we ask them to provide this data to us by the end of January, but no later than the end of February. We review the data and may ask firms to confirm if their data has been correctly calculated.

Step 4 – March

We consult on the new fee rates for the coming year. We include feedback on our proposals from the previous autumn’s consultation and any rules that need to come into effect from April. For example, changes governed by European Regulations. We allocate firms to fee-blocks based on their permitted activities as at 1 April.

Fee-blocks are used to group together firms with similar regulated activities. Depending on the regulated activities a firm has, it could be allocated to one or more fee-blocks.

Step 5 – June

We issue our policy statement, which contains the final annual fee rates and any other rules.

Step 6 – From July

We invoice all firms.

(Firms whose fees were £50,000 or more in the previous year must pay an advance payment. The due date for these on-account payments is 1 April. We deduct the on-account amount from the annual fee invoice, which is payable by 1 September.

More information

You can find our rules on fees in the Fees Manual section of the Handbook.

You can also read our latest consultation papers and policies on fees