Regulator’s gender pay gap double national average

Written by Oliver Wade

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates the country’s largest financial firms, has revealed that it pays its male employees more than its female staff.

In 2018, the watchdog’s median gender pay gap was 21.2%, an increase on the 20.9% figure recorded in 2017, despite its pledge to improve.

Looking broadly across all UK companies, the gender pay gap last year was half the size of the FCA’s at 9.7%.

Commenting on the statistic, Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan said that the FCA’s pay gap was going in the “wrong direction”.

The reveal comes as multiple campaigners and MPs are calling on the financial services industry to combat its large gender pay disparities. The regulator has also welcomed this movement, with its chief executive Andrew Bailey calling for a cultural overhaul in Britain’s finance industry, stating that a lack of diversity in the workplace can create “groupthink”.

However, the figures published in November, illustrated that the gender pay gap is largely due to an imbalance of women in senior leadership roles, with 61 per cent of FCA employees in the top quartile of pay being men versus 39% who were women.

When looking at the middle and lower quartiles, the percentage of men fell to 56 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.

Despite this, the regulator did increase the number of women and black and ethnic minority staff in its senior leadership team.

All UK companies with over 250 employees are expected to publish their gender pay gap by 4 April, while demonstrating what progress has been made since April 2018.

So far, approximately 750 companies have done so already, leaving around 10,000 who still need to report. Last year more than half of the companies that reported did so in the week before the deadline, while about 1,500 missed the deadline.

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