FCA and BoE refuse to provide HSBC fee data

I made a Freedom of Information Act request to the Bank of England, having been told by the FCA that that was the appropriate authority to answer my query. The Bank of England stated that the request should have been made to the FCA. However the Bank of England on behalf of the Prudential Authority, and the FCA have both now replied and refused to provide the information. I had request the amount in fees paid each year by HSBC and the percentage that those fees represented of total income. Their reasons for not providing the information is that it is “sensitive”. You bet it is . Here are the two responses:

Dear Mr Wilson

We refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”) for the following information:

“Can you please tell me the amount paid in fees to the FCA/PRA in the last accounting year by HSBC Group and what percentage those fees are to the total income of the regulators.”

You originally submitted your request to the Prudential Regulation Authority, who advised that they were transferring to the FCA the part of your request that relates to FCA fees.

Your request has now been considered and we can confirm that we hold information that falls within the scope of your request.

However, we are unable to provide it to you as to the extent that this is (or is based on) information that the FCA has received for the purpose of carrying out our functions under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FMSA”), it is exempt from disclosure under section 44 (Prohibitions on disclosure) of the Act for the reasons set out in Annex A.

Our Policy Statement relating to the fees and levies rates rules for 2013/14 can be found on our website at the following link:

https://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/ps13-06-fca-regulated-fees-and-levies-2013-14# <https://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/ps13-06-fca-regulated-fees-and-levies-2013-14>

Yours sincerely

Information Access Team
Financial Conduct Authority