The Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed its plans to hike broker fees by at least 8.4% in a policy statement today.
The regulator defended the fee hikes, calling them “fair and proportionate” in order to recover its own costs while the FCA added that minimum fees have not been raised for over four years.
Unsurprisingly many within the industry were disappointed at the decision, as Panacea Adviser joined Association of Mortgage Intermediaries’ Robert Sinclair in condemning the fee increases.
In a statement, the online community and resource for financial advisers said banking fines of £1.462 trillion in 2014 should be ploughed back into the system to reward the brokers who have played by the rules and also to give consumers greater access to advice.
Panacea Adviser’s statement read: “We feel that any fee hike made against the backdrop of fines being paid away is simply unfair and fine usage should be taken into consideration.”
“This should mean that offsetting fines against the cost of regulation and compensation levies could have given the industry ‘good guys’ a free ride for over two years and subsequently, those harder-pressed consumers access to financial advice at a very much reduced cost as they would then benefit too from the reduction in the regulatory cost burden.
“As a result Panacea believes that these fines could have also funded the FSCS based upon the current budget for at least four years, again reducing costs for consumers.”
Previously Sinclair said: “An 8.5% budget increase across the board with new costs for consumer Buy-to-let is just plain wrong.
“It is out of kilter with most other regulators. AMI will continue to challenge for flat or reducing budgets not just this year but in the years to come.”