But hang on, what's happening to the FSA's old offices? And from there it starts to get murky. The FSA is in effect being split up, with around a third of staff moving to become the PRA and the rest forming a new body called the FCA which will, er, continue doing the sort of thing the FSA did. From the FSA's Annual Report, it emerges that existing costs are around £310m a year on staff, £46m on accommodation, £26m on IT, and other costs making £415m a year in total. But don't worry - this is charged to the banks and financial institutions that are regulated, or overcharged in fact. To the tune of £435m a year - £20m more than the FSA's costs. Clever, huh? So we pay via bank charges rather than directly through tax. What a clever wheeze!
But where it gets really creative is in HMT's cost-benefit analysis of the changes (p117 onwards). Splitting the FSA into two is actually going to cost quite a bit, it seems. Firstly there are two or three years of 'transitional costs' estimated at an additional £240m in total - including no doubt the £20m office fit-out. Then there are additional costs of £25m a year for a further few years, coming all together to some £400m. But don't worry; the banks are paying £20m a year extra already, so they'll hardly notice the extra extra. And anyway they can recharge the punters, can't they?
The most breathtakingly audacious part of this cosy spend-fest is the financial benefit that HMT claims will produce a positive NPV of £1.4bn by "a reduction in frequency of severe financial crises in the UK". Really. You couldn't make it up.
And the boys and girls at the FSA not only all continue in their old jobs but in spanking smart new offices - trebles all round, I think!