The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) spent at least £12.8m on coronavirus-related expenses by June 2020, and expects that cost to continue to rise throughout the year, a freedom of information request submitted by Professional Adviser has revealed.
As at the end of June, the FCA's costs specifically related to Covid-19 work were £12.8m, with staff costs of £9.6m and non-staff costs of £3.2m.
The FCA noted the above costs did not include the full cost of the work being undertaken in respect of the business insurance review, and it expects its Covid-19 costs to be ongoing throughout the year.
PA first asked the FCA about its coronavirus expenditure in May, however the regulator took several months to consider whether it could hand over the information.
PA's request for information also revealed an average of 825 staff have been working on Covid-19-related issues since the onset of the outbreak.
However, the figure given by the FCA is likely to be an underestimate of the real number, the FCA said, as a "significant" number of staff may work on coronavirus-related issues as part of their business as usual activities, which cannot be separated out from other aspects of their work.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic the FCA has quizzed firms and paused some of its ongoing work so focus on virus-related work.
Soon advisers will received a second Covid-19 survey from the regulator that will check up on their financial viability. Elsewhere, the FCA has accelerated its ‘digital sandbox' plans in the hope innovative firms can quickly test and develop proof of concepts that might help support firms looking to tackle coronavirus-related challenges.
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