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FCA chiefs spend £10k on trips abroad in first six months of new regulator

Carmen Reichman
Written By:
Carmen Reichman

Three of the regulator’s top brass have spent almost £10,000 on foreign travel and accommodation in the first half year of the Financial Conduct Authority’s(FCA) existence.

Chief executive Martin Wheatley, chairman John Griffith-Jones and director of supervision Clive Adamson claimed a total of £9,894 in foreign travel expenses in the six months since April.

Wheatley and Griffith-Jones were responsible for the bulk of the cost, expensing £9,020 in the period on foreign travel and accommodation, while Adamson claimed back £870.

Griffith-Jones racked up the highest bill, paying £5,293 for four trips to Switzerland, Washington and Beijing, while expensing a comparatively low £332 for supposedly eight nights’ accommodation cost. 

Wheatley, on the other hand, paid £2,389 for six nights spent abroad, alongside £1,006 spent on three flights to Dublin, Paris and Washington.

Neither Wheatley nor Griffith-Jones’s reimbursement included working lunches and entertainment, which were expensed separately.

Adamson, the third senior FCA employee to have taken trips abroad, reimbursed £167 for travel abroad and £708 for accommodation.

The FCA says in its employee handbook it will only re-imburse “reasonable travel costs and expenses, wholly and necessarily incurred for the execution of the FCA’s business” and have been “incurred in the most cost effective way”.

It tells employees of all ranks it expects them to “ensure costs are necessary and reasonable; travel to meetings and between offices by the most cost-effective mode of transport”; and to “be reasonably flexible in your arrangements and where possible opt for travel options that
may be restricted in nature but are cost effective and offer value for money”.

The total expense of the five FCA executives amounted to around £12,170 in the time period.

Director of enforcement Tracey McDermott and chief operating officer Lesley Titcomb emerged as the most conservative spenders in the FCA, costing the regulator £116 and £223 respectively.