A REPORT by the Financial Times has found that 14% of roles within the financial Conduct Authority remain empty despite a recruitment drive.

The FT obtained the information through a Freedom of Information Act which also uncovered the fact that staff morale was low, with only 30% of employees believing the FCA was a great place to work. Just 12 months ago the rating was 70%.

There was also reduced belief in the FCA’s leadership team, said the FT.

The findings come against a background of change at the FCA and organisational expansion.

The regulator has moved some of its core systems to the cloud while also rolling out new analytical tools to provide improved risk visibility of firms.

It has also expanded its operations to include Edinburgh in Scotland and Leeds in the north, chief executive Nikhil Rathi saying that “500 new colleagues have joined us and we expect nearly 1000 to have done so by the end of the year”.

Nevertheless, leasing brokers have privately voiced their disquiet at how long it is taking to acquire appropriate permissions from the FCA, which has been impacting their trading viability.

With seemingly fewer staff to service leasing brokers, there is a growing tide of frustration that the FCA is becoming a barrier to trade.

It comes at a time of renewed regulation for the broker sector with the FCA’s change to Consumer Duty and its outcomes-focused approach to customers.

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