Although a member is a participant firm for the purposes of most provisions of COMP, a member is excluded from the definition of participant firm for the purposes of FEES 6 (see definition of participant firm in Glossary). This is because the fees levied in relation to the carrying on of insurance market activities by members will be imposed on Society rather than individually on each member (see FEES 6.3.24 R).
Section 224F of the Act enables the FSA to make rules to enable the FSCS to impose levies on authorised persons (or any class of authorised persons) in order to meet its management expenses incurred if, under Part 15A of the Act, it is required by HM Treasury to act in relation to relevant schemes. But those rules must provide that the FSCS can impose a levy only if the FSCS has tried its best to obtain reimbursement of those expenses from the manager of the relevant scheme.6
In calculating a compensation costs levy, the FSCS may include anticipated compensation costs for defaults expected to be determined in the 12-month period following the date of the levy. The total of all management expenses levies attributable to a financial year will be restricted tothe amount set out on an annual basis in FEES 6 Annex 1 R.
In order to allocate a share of the amount to be funded by an individual participant firm, the funding arrangements are split into five classes2: the depositclass; the life and pensions class; the investment class; the home finance class and the general insurance class.23 The business carried on by a participant firm determines into which class, or classes,23 it falls.232323
Within each class2 there are one or moresub-classes.2 These relate to different types of activity carried on by participant firms within each class.2 Within a class,2 individual participant firms are allocated for funding purposes to one or more sub-classes,2 depending on their business activities. This, together with the provisions on the allocation of levies to sub-classes up to their levy limits,2 meetsa requirement of section 213(5) of the Act that the FSA, in making rules to enable the FSCS to impose levies, must take account of the desirability of ensuring that the amount of the levies imposed on a particular class of authorised person reflects, so far as practicable, the amount of claims made, or likely to be made, in respect of that class of person. The deposit class is made up of a single sub-class. This means that a reference to a sub-class will, unless the context otherwise requires, include a reference to the deposits class.22222
Section 223 of the Act (Management expenses) prevents the FSCS from recovering, through a levy, any management expenses attributable to a particular period in excess of the limit set in COMP as applicable to that period. 'Management expenses' are defined in section 223(3) to mean expenses incurred or expected to be incurred by the FSCS in connection with its functions under the Act, except:
expenses incurred in paying compensation;5
expenses incurred as a result of the FSCS making the arrangements to secure continuity of insurance set out in COMP 3.3.1 R and COMP 3.3.2 R or taking the measures set out in COMP 3.3.3 R and COMP 3.3.4 R when a relevant person is an insurer in financial difficulties;56
expenses incurred under section 214B or section 214D of the Act as a result of the FSCS being required by HM Treasury to make payments in connection with the exercise of the stabilisation power under Part 1 of the Banking Act 2009; and65
A management expenses levy under COMP may consist of two 2elements. The first is a base costs levy, for the base costs of running the compensation scheme in a financial year, that is, costs which are not dependent upon the level of activity of the compensation scheme and which therefore are not referable to any specific default. Included in this category are items such as the salary of the members of the board of the FSCS, the costs of the premises which the FSCS occupies, and its audit fees. It would also likely include the cost of any insurance cover secured by FSCS against the risk of it paying claims out in circumstances where the levy limit of the particular class to which the claim would otherwise be attributable has exceeded its levy limit for the year, as the insurance cover is likely to benefit all classes which may have costs allocated to them if the levy limit of another class is breached.2 The amount that each participant firm pays towards a base costs levy is calculated by reference to the regulatory costs paid by the firm. All participant firms are liable to contribute towards a base costs levy.2
The second element of a management expenses levy is a specific costs levy for the "specific costs" of running the compensation scheme in a financial year. These costs depend on the number of claims and types of default, and include the salaries of the staff of the FSCS and legal and other professional fees paid in respect of particular defaults. It also may include the cost of any insurance cover that FSCS secures against the risk of FSCS paying out claims above a given level in any particular sub-class (but below the levy limit for that sub-class for the year) or the cost of commercial borrowing to allow FSCS to pay claims attributable to a particular sub-class in advance of the next levy. Where a levy limit has been reached and FSCS secures borrowing in order to pay claims allocated to another sub-class in accordance with the rules on allocation in FEES 6.5.2R, the costs of borrowing are attributable to the sub-class whose levy limit has been reached.2 The specific costs are allocatedto the sub-class 2which is responsible for those costs under COMP, on the basis of the protected claims against that person. The FSCS may include in a specific costs levy the specific coststhat the FSCS expects to incur (including in respect of defaults not yet declared at the date of the levy) during the financial year of the compensation scheme to which the levy relates. The amount that each participant firm pays towards the specific costs levy is calculated by reference to the amount of business conducted by the firm in each of the sub-classes2 to which the FSCS has allocated specific costs. Each sub-class2 has a separate "tariff base" for this purpose, set out in FEES 6 Annex 3 R2. Participant firms may be exempt from contributing to the specific costs levy.
The compensation costs levy is made up of the compensation costs which the FSCS has incurred and has not yet recovered from participant firms (less any recoveries it has made using the rights that have been assigned to it), together with those compensation costs it expects to incur (including in respect of defaults yet to be declared) over the 12 months following the date of the levy.
Compensation costs are principally the costs incurred in paying compensation. Costs incurred in securing continuity of long-term insurance in safeguarding eligible claimants when insurers are in financial difficulties, in making payments or giving indemnities under COMP 11.2.3 R and as a result of the FSCS being required by HM Treasury to make payments in connection with the exercise of the stabilisation power under Part 1 of the Banking Act 2009 5are also treated as compensation costs. For funding purposes, these costs are allocated by the FSCS, and met by participant firms, in the same way as specific costsup to relevant levy limits and then in accordance with the allocation provisions in 2FEES 6.5.2 R.3523
If a participant firm is a member of more than one sub-class,2 the total compensation costs levy and specific costs levy for that firm will be the aggregate of the individual levies calculated for the firmin respect of each of the sub-classes. Each sub-class has a levy limit which is the maximum amount of compensation costs which may be allocated to a particular sub-class in a financial year for the purposes of a levy. Once the costs attributable to a particular sub-class have exceeded the levy limit the excess costs are allocated to the other sub-class in the same class, up to the levy limit of that other sub-class, and thereafter allocated to a 'general retail pool' of all the other sub-classes whose levy limits have not been reached (with the exception of the home finance providers). The amount of the excess cost to be allocated to each particular sub-class in the general retail pool is calculated pro-rata in accordance with the relative size of the levy limit of that sub-class to the sum of the levy limits of the remainder of the sub-classes in the general retail pool whose levy limits have not been reached. In the case of the deposits class, once the costs attributable to that class have exceeded the levy limit the excess costs are allocated to the general retail pool. The use made by FSCS of borrowing facilities to provide liquidity until the next levy does not affect this allocation of costs. 222
2FSCS may consider obtaining insurance cover, if available, against the risk that the value of claims FSCS pays out exceeds the levy limits of, or given levels within, particular classes or sub-classes. Any costs associated with the insurance would be allocated proportionally to the classes or sub-classes intended to benefit from that insurance.
Incoming EEA firms which obtain cover or 'top up' under the provisions of COMP 14 are firms whose Home State scheme provides no or limited compensation cover in the event that they are determined to be in default. Under FEES 6.6, the FSCS is required to consider whether incoming EEA firm's should receive a discount on the amount that they would otherwise pay as their share of the levy, to take account of the availability of their Home State cover. The amount of any discount is recoverable from the other members of the incoming EEA firm's sub-class.22