The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will not reimburse advisers for previously 'overpaid' fees if the proposal to cut regulatory costs from next year comes into force, chief executive Martin Wheatley has said.
The Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) previously called on the regulator to give back the difference in cost between the reduced fees advisers will pay from next year and the higher fees paid previously, by revising down the upcoming fees accordingly.
In a consultation paper, released in October, the FCA said it wanted to re-allocate fee blocks so that advisers who do not hold client money will pay about £4 less on every £1,000 earned.
But Wheatley (pictured) said at a roundtable discussion on Monday that the regulator was not making any surplus from the fees it levies on the industry and therefore it would be too complicated to find the money to hand back.
He also denied that there was any overpayment in fees.
He said: "We work out our fee blocks every year. The fact that we may have said there may be a mistake in one of the fees is quite different from saying actually there was an overpayment that needs an adjustment the following year.
"So no, there won't be any re-adjustment. We've got to collect our fees. We end up with zero at the end of the day, it's not like we have a lot of reserves.
"Were we to decide we had to go and re-imburse in a sector then we'd have to go and charge that somewhere else and that would get very messy."
Wheatley also suggested that the minimum fees a lot of small advisory firms pay were "probably below the cost of providing a regulatory service".
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