According to the unions, the staff of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) could go on strike against the new salary conditions imposed by the management.

Unite the Union is voting for members of the financial watchdog, saying the organization is transforming itself into a “good deal” regulator.

Members will begin voting on whether to take industrial action, with voting closing at the end of the month.

FCA Chief Executive Nikhil Rathi (FCA/PA)

The union said the FCA’s proposed changes would leave staff behind, with cuts of between 10% and 12% due to the removal of performance bonuses.

The FCA is advancing pay changes, which bosses say will raise wages for the lowest-paid employees.

Staff turnover increased as a result and led to significant growth in union membership, Unite said.

Although Chief Executive Nikhil Rathi told Treasury Committee MPs: ‘We don’t see any attrition in our organization at high levels to what they generally were before the pandemic.

Official recognition was sought and refused by the FCA, with Mr Rathi saying the concerns raised were “noise” and that the changes would in fact improve staff performance.

He said last month that the FCA had spent £492,000 on communications consultants during the changes, adding: ‘We need change skills in the organization for the scale of change we are undertaking.

“We leverage this as proportionately and reasonably as possible. We are an organization that has accomplished a great deal.

“In order to achieve the operational integrity we need, we are going through a period of profound and far-reaching change. It will be difficult.

“You will hear noise outside the organization for several months to come as we also become more rigorous, self-aware and self-critical about our performance, which is a difficult cultural journey for us to navigate.”

Dominic Hook, Unite National Officer, said: “FCA management is trying to implement a program of pay cuts, which came after two years in which FCA staff worked grueling hours to provide financial protection against Covid to borrowers, investors, small businesses and people with mortgages.

“Unite has made it clear that if introduced, these cuts would make it even less likely that the FCA will be able to deliver this high level of public service in the future.

“Experienced employees left the regulator in droves. More are expected to follow, as in a recent Unite survey, 89.8% of staff described their morale as ‘low’ or ‘very low’.

“You cannot regulate the UK financial system on a market basis as CEO Nikhil Rathi clearly wants to.

“Management must enter into immediate negotiations with Unite the union to avoid further damage and risk to FCA.”

The union is also currently challenging the FCA over its refusal to allow staff to be represented by an independent union.

An FCA spokesperson said: “Our compensation and reward proposals would ensure that the FCA continues to provide one of the best employment packages of any regulatory or enforcement body in the UK.

“Our proposals focus on those who are the lowest paid, with 800 colleagues below management level awaiting pay rises of £3,800 on average.

“We are now carefully considering the feedback received during our extensive consultation with our colleagues with the aim of announcing the outcome by March.”

About The Author

Related Posts