Briefing on the FCA’s consultation on its reward offer and trade union recognition

On 22 September, we began consulting with colleagues on our future reward offer. The offer ensures the FCA continues to provide one of the best employment packages of any regulator or enforcement agency in the UK.

Read the reward offer (PDF)

For the FCA to operate effectively - to protect consumers and markets and promote competition in the sector we regulate - we need to retain and attract skills that are in high demand. As a result, we need a reward package that measures up to what is available elsewhere, balanced against our commitment to value for money. 

To ensure our offer is competitive, we have undertaken a rigorous benchmarking exercise, looking at public and private sectors, financial and professional services, and in London and the whole of the UK.

For the first time, we are also proposing different pay ranges for those based outside London to reflect geographically diverse labour markets. This move would bring us in line with many other employers and reflects our growing national footprint, with a doubling of roles in Edinburgh and an intention to open an office in Leeds. We are proposing a three-year transition period for existing colleagues based in Edinburgh.  

Those colleagues who are not paid at least the minimum of the proposed new national and London pay ranges will receive pay increases, providing they meet their performance objectives. This should benefit around 800 of our colleagues by, on average, £3,800. The vast majority of these colleagues are below manager-level. 

Under the proposals, colleagues who meet or exceed their performance objectives, can also receive incremental increases in base pay, with additional pay rises over the next two years and through performance-related pay.

The aim is to drive consistent strong performance, so that we meet the FCA’s statutory objectives for the long-term.

The proposed reward framework is designed to support mobility across the organisation and promote collaborative working. It should also help us make progress towards reducing our gender and ethnicity pay gaps. We will also continue to invest significantly in the training and development of all of our colleagues, who through working at the FCA gain an opportunity to build a wide range of skills and experience.

We are proposing that next April’s discretionary bonus will be the last time it is paid. We do not believe these one-off, cash payments made to the majority of colleagues have been effective at driving consistent strong performance and the bonus scheme lacks some of the features we ask of firms we regulate. 

Discretionary bonuses paid in April will be available to those who outperform or significantly outperform - the top 25% of colleagues based on performance. This decision allows us to recruit new colleagues into authorisations and technology teams and invest in our systems and infrastructure.  

The consultation is open until December 2021. We are using the consultation period to listen carefully to our colleagues’ feedback and to answer any questions they have, as well as working with the FCA’s Staff Consultative Committee. 

Trade union recognition

Like all employees across the UK, our colleagues at the FCA can choose whether to join a union and how they wish to be represented. 

The statutory process for union recognition provides for various thresholds and independent processes which allow for a fair assessment of colleagues’ opinions on collective bargaining. It ensures the views of those colleagues who want collective bargaining through a particular trade union and those who do not wish to be represented in this way are properly accounted for, in a way voluntary recognition cannot. 

We recently responded to Unite the Union setting out our view.