This was part of the association’s response to the FCA’s consultation on regulated fees and levies for 2020/21. In its consultation, the regulator proposed to freeze regulation fees for smaller firms to support them through the health crisis.
It also proposed to extend payment deadlines for small and medium firms by two months, giving them three months in total to pay fees.
This includes firms who pay £10,000 or less to the FCA, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the Financial Ombudsman Service, Money and Pensions Service, Devolved Authorities, the Payment Systems Regulator, the Financial Reporting Council and under the illegal money lending levy.
AMI said the whole intermediary sector needed the FCA’s support to ensure firms survive the crisis not only in the short-term, but also into the next year in case cash flow levels do not recover.
Robert Sinclair (pictured), chief executive of AMI, said: “Whilst we support the freezing of fees for smaller firms, we cannot support this cost transfer to larger firms. The changes to the proposed fees in light of the Covid-19 pandemic should have been greater and further reaching.
“We are concerned that the FCA’s fee proposals neither reduce its current expenditure nor suggest an intention to reduce spending next year in view of the likely reduced turnover of and indeed likely reduced number of regulated advisory firms.”
Sinclair said the regulator should look to reduce operational costs where possible, instead of continuing with plans that were appropriate before the crisis impacted the market.
“Essential costs including authorisation, supervision and enforcement must be prioritised over strategy and competition agendas until there is a clearer view of the post-lockdown landscape,” he added.