The FSCS may impose two types of levy: a management expenses levy, and a compensation costs levy. In the first three full years of the operation of the compensation scheme, the FSCS may impose an establishment costs levy as part of a management expenses levy. The FSCS has discretion as to the timing of the levies imposed.
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 to the amount set out on an annual basis in COMP 13 Ann 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 three sub-schemes: the accepting deposits sub-scheme, the insurance business sub-scheme, and the designated investment business sub-scheme. The business carried on by a participant firm determines into which sub-scheme, or sub-schemes, it falls.
Within each sub-scheme there are one or more contribution groups. These relate to different types of activity carried on by participant firms within each sub-scheme. Within a sub-scheme, individual participant firms are allocated for funding purposes to one or more contribution groups, depending on their business activities. This meets a 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.
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; and
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.
A management expenses levy under COMP may consist of three elements. 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. 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.
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. The specific costs are allocated to the contribution group or groups of which the relevant personin default was a member, or which 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 costs that 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 contribution groups to which the FSCS has allocated specific costs. Each contribution group has a separate "tariff base" for this purpose, set out in COMP 13.6.7 R. Participant firms may be exempt from contributing to the specific costs levy.
The third element of a management expenses levy is the costs of establishing the FSCS. The FSCS may impose an establishment costs levy only until the end of the third full financial year of operation of the compensation scheme. The amount that each participant firm pays towards the establishment costs levy is calculated on the same basis as the base costs levy, and all participant firms are liable to contribute.
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, and in making payments or giving indemnities under COMP 11.2.3 R are 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 costs: see COMP 13.6.6 R.1
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 COMP 13.7, the FSCS is required to consider whether incoming EEA firms 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 contribution group.2