The Financial Conduct Authority is facing a workforce revolt, with staff resorting to unionisation amid anger over proposed pay cuts and chief executive Nikhil Rathi’s transformation plans.
Unite, the union for finance sector staff, has launched a staff petition to secure the right to be formally recognised to represent workers across the organisation – the first time this has happened in the watchdog’s history.
Unite says the petition follows months of growing disenchantment among the workforce with the FCA’s new leadership team, which has launched a consultation on changes to pay and grading as part of CEO Nikhil Rathi’s transformation plans.
Rathi’s attempt to communicate the benefits of the programme have reputedly failed to attract the support of staff, where formal communication events have attracted waves of criticism.
Staff say the proposals will result in three out of four of them facing having their pay reduced by 10%. However, the changes are unlikely to affect the FCA’s leadership team. Rathi, who joined as CEO from the London Stock Exchange less than a year ago and is currently paid more than £455,000, has proposed allowing the highest paid FCA staff to be paid more to avoid caps on the tax breaks for the largest pension pot holders.
Staff at the FCA are telling Unite representatives that resignations are rising by the day, with recruitment failing to keep pace with the rate at which people are leaving. At the same time, Unite says FCA staff membership at the labour union has quadrupled.
Dominic Hook, Unite national officer says: “Staff at the FCA are demoralised by the consultation launched by the CEO in September and feel it is a poor way to reward FCA staff who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to deliver credit card and mortgage payment holidays that were a lifeline to people up and down the country.”
Trade unions are recognised at both the Bank of England and the Pensions Regulator.