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Financial Conduct Authority Senior Associate Reviews

Updated 22 February 2018
42 reviews

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Senior Associate

3.3
StarStarStarStarStar
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Approve of CEO
Financial Conduct Authority CEO Andrew Bailey
Andrew Bailey
17 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work life balance and lots of flexibility (in 68 reviews)

  • Interesting work, nice people, genuinely enjoyed my time there (in 26 reviews)

Cons
  • but improvement promised with the move to Stratford next year (in 15 reviews)

  • There is limited career progression (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Senior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate
    Current Employee - Senior Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Conduct Authority full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great friendly atmosphere and opportunity to learn. Career progression is actively encouraged within the division and organization as a whole.

    Cons

    A hierarchical structure means decision making is made up the tree with limited executive power for senior associates. Joining process took forever!


  2. "It’s all about who you know"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Financial Conduct Authority full-time

    Pros

    Good work life balance and flexible working on offer. Reputable company to have on your CV.
    Location is ok, although will shortly be moving to Stratford.

    Cons

    Minimal progression opportunities. Wasn’t prepared to sacrifice my integrity by “playing the game”.
    Pay is atrocious.
    So-called “Academy” is a complete waste of time and effort.


  3. "Roles can be pigeon holded"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Conduct Authority full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Not as cut throat as industry,
    - Lots of people passionate about doing the right thing,
    - Friendly compared to banks,
    - Good work life balance,
    - Sense that work we do have purpose.

    Cons

    - Lack of diversity from Manager grade upwards,
    - Role is pigeon holed, and no insight into other divisions,
    - Silos
    - Processes and procedures are constantly changing, without consideration for long term embedding or waiting for last process to be implemented
    - Move to Stratford.

    Advice to Management

    I'm not sure anything I can say that's not already been said.


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  5. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Conduct Authority full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent team spirit and training opportunities. Varied roles and possibility for development both internally and externally.

    Cons

    Like many government departments there can be a tendency to seek decisions by committee rather than an individual basis although that is a minor point.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Interesting work but poorly run"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Conduct Authority full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The work is important and the central role in financial services means the work is always interesting and evolving.

    Cons

    This is an organisation that doesn’t value staff. Senior management are incredibly poor quality and go out of their way to blame junior staff for their own failings. In addition, the benefits are poor and working conditions aren’t as good as they think they are.

    The organisation is constantly talking about changing itself but senior management are incapable of this - and appoint people who are incapable of this.

    Staff development and progression is poor. They constantly talk about the training they provide - however this is focused on the senior management.

    Advice to Management

    The best decision I made was leaving. The organisation is dysfunctional and poorly run.


  7. Helpful (12)

    "Operates effectively on goodwill"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Conduct Authority full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent calibre of staff at Senior Associate and Technical Specialist Level
    All staff have a high level of commitment to the organisation and its mission
    Very interesting work
    Excellent work/life balance
    Inclusive
    CEO leads from the front

    Cons

    Middle management is full of careerists and they are constantly in meetings but actually have no ability to manage staff as all decisions taken at senior levels
    Governance process is exhaustingly slow
    There is no reward or talent management strategy at all
    Silo mentality very bad in some areas

    Advice to Management

    The organisation survives on goodwill by those doing the front-line regulatory work - management is in constant meetings that achieve next to nothing practical - get out of the meeting rooms and lead your staff


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great pay but such a waste of human potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Conduct Authority full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great pay - above market rates for public policy professionals
    Great people - serious expertise and intelligence on display. I've rarely met anyone I didn't feel was not pulling their weight and most colleagues have impressed me

    Cons

    It is very demotivating that subject matter experts are banned from presenting on their work externally - unless they are at Head of Department level or above.

    More generally the regulator is incredibly inward focused - easily 90% of my work is inward looking and there is very little reflection in the organisation about whether this is the right approach.

    The Governance process is atrocious. From the moment a subject matter expert knows what they need to do, it usually takes a month to formalise the decision and another month to put it in writing.

    Seniors' time is so scarce it is impossible to benefit from their knowledge and experience.

    The organisation has an amazing ability to waste employee time - months' worth of work can be binned overnight.

    Advice to Management

    Some of our Senior Associate roles could easily be split


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Senior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Conduct Authority full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * There is a much better work/life balance than in industry - as a former consultant, my hours were 07:00 to 19:00; here, my hours are more like 08:00 to 17:00.
    * The benefits package - when you consider the work-life balance - is good.
    * Opportunity to contribute to some significant pieces of work, and feel like you're making a real difference to customers. Also opportunities to get involved in various extra-curricular projects.
    * (Current) location of offices is good - London and Edinburgh, though the London office is moving from Canary Wharf to Stratford from April 2018 (see 'cons').

    Cons

    * It is difficult to get promoted - when more senior vacancies arise, there is a great deal of competition for the places, which can leave you pretty disappointed.
    * Further, promotions are not merit-based - you are promoted based on how visible you are. So, you can have no idea what you're doing, but as long as you *behave* the right way and do lots of extra (but meaningless) project work, you'll go far.
    * The organisation often confuses 'judgements' with 'opinions' - failing to recognise the need to get a sound evidence base before reaching a judgement.
    * The move to Stratford in April 2018 is significant, but it doesn't feel as though management are recognising these concerns.
    * Getting people to make a decision is painful - everything has to be deferred to a committee.

    Advice to Management

    Be more trusting of your employees. Stop confusing 'judgement' and 'opinion'. Stop deferring everything to committees. And (biggest of all) start to promote and recognise employees on the basis of MERIT, rather than personality/likability/visibility.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic learning experiences but impossible to progress even if a consistent high performer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Policy in London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Policy in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Conduct Authority part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent exposure to supervision, rule making, great to work for an organisation who are genuinely trying to do something good for the public good. New CEO Andrew Bailey a positive force in the organisation and well liked and respected.

    Cons

    The HR competency framework makes it impossible for talented associates to make management as there are always questions which you can only demonstrate competency in if you have recent management experience. Other organisations rate your potential not your actual experience, as such lots of talented staff leaving and replacements may not be as good but somehow have an external management job title allowing them to tick the box.

    Advice to Management

    Sadly the competency framework for associate promotion to manager isn't fair or fit for purpose as talented staff with potential can't move ahead and leave. This needs to be addressed quickly to stop the brain drain.


  11. "Senior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Conduct Authority full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a really good place to work with lots of opportunities to develop your learning Great benefits, good training opportunities, good work life balance.

    Cons

    When compared to equivalent work in the private industry the pay is not particularly good. The chance for significant promotions is limited.

    Advice to Management

    To retain staff they should be better rewarded at their end of year appraisals with better pay increases and improved bonus rewards.