The City regulator is advertising for consultants as it fights against vacancies.
As reported by the Financial Times, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has around 4,000 staff and a person familiar with the regulator’s operations said vacancy levels were now at about 500, higher than the typical levels of 300.
According to the government tendering website, the FCA has spent almost £1m on headhunters and is advertising for contracts for consultants, which includes a recent tender for a third-party law firm that has not yet been hired, to help with the change of control applications. These are where financial services groups file when their ownership changes.
“We have experienced an increase in the number of change in control applications,” a spokesperson from the FCA said.
“In order to ensure that we can process these as quickly as possible, while maintaining our high standards, we have employed some short-term resource to support us. The final decision on an application will be taken by an FCA staff member.”
The FCA is also looking to appoint a third-party crypto forensics service provider to help it to use cryptoasset blockchain data to support the effective supervision of in scope cryptoasset activity.
FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi has been met with resistance when trying to change the regulator’s work and pay structures to create a more efficient regulator. Unite has previously said that the number of FCA staff joining the union has quadrupled since a consultation into a new pay structure was launched.
Last week, Rathi told the Treasury Committee that that there is a backlog in the queues and added that the FCA is working hard to address this by hiring more staff and digitalising the approval process.