(Adds details on funding)
LONDON, March 30 The Financial Conduct Authority
will set out plans on Monday for an increase in its annual
funding requirement for 2014-15, Sky News reported late Sunday.
The multi-media news service said the financial regulator is
expected to budget its annual funding to just under 450 million
pounds ($748.69 million), about 3 percent above the 432.1
million pounds it said it required last year.
The FCA's 2014-15 budget does not take into account the cost
of regulating thousands of consumer credit providers, which will
transfer to the auspices of the regulator for the first time
this week, Sky said.
The news service reported without citing sources that the
fees will be frozen for thousands of the smallest firms
regulated by the FCA, with the minimum charge remaining at 1,000
Earlier in the day, the Sunday Times reported that Martin
Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA, is facing calls for his
resignation after a gaffe that wiped billions of pounds from the
value of insurance companies.
The newspaper said the Association of British Insurers (ABI)
is expected to write to finance minister George Osborne to
complain about the FCA, which has been accused of creating a
false market in insurers' shares.
The FCA was due to announce a review into the life insurance
industry in its annual business plan on Monday. But a senior FCA
supervisor outlined plans for the review in a press interview on
Friday, which resulted in sharp falls in share prices across the
sector, including Resolution, Aviva, Legal &
General, Standard Life and Prudential.
The FCA later in the day said the review wouldn't look at
sales practices nor would it apply current standards to old
policies, such as on the level of premature exit charges, after
which the insurers' share prices recovered some of their losses.
The Sunday Times said senior sources at four of Britain's
biggest insurers had told it that Wheatley's position was
untenable following Friday's events.
Both the FCA and the ABI declined to comment.
On Saturday Andrew Tyrie, the head of the UK Parliament's
Treasury Committee, described the issue as an "extraordinary
($1 = 0.6011 British Pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey in London and Aashika Jain in
Bangalore; Editing by Greg Mahlich, Bernard Orr)