FCA Cracks Down, Issues Highest Level of Fines in 4 Years

The regulator has faced criticism this year for not protecting consumers against market scandals.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stepped up its efforts with issuing fines. According to reports, so far this year the regulator has issued its highest level of fines in the past four years.

This Monday, the Financial Times reported that a crackdown on misselling and financial crimes has resulted in the regulator imposing penalties totaling £391.8 million (around $516.1 million) so far in 2019.

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According to data collated by the London-headquartered law firm RPC, this is the highest since 2015 and more than six times the amount that UK watchdog issued throughout the whole of last year.

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Not only has the FCA dished out more fines this year, but the regulator has also issued more fines exceeding £10 million, known as “blockbuster” fines than it did last year. Throughout the year, nine out of the total 17 penalties exceeded this amount, in comparison to just two in 2018.

FCA biggest fine goes to Standard Chartered

To date, the largest fine issued by the authority was a £102 million fine back in April to Standard Chartered. This was part of a larger global $1.1 billion set of penalties that the bank needed to pay in order to settle charges that the bank violated sanctions and ignored red flags about its customers. 

This year, the FCA also levied a record penalty against an individual. As Finance Magnates reported, the former boss of failed firm Keydata received a £76 million penalty and a ban from regulated financial services. This was confirmed by the regulator at the beginning of the year.

Commenting on the data, RPC said the regulator had: “reinforced its commitment to protecting consumers from the risk of being mis-sold financial products” in its 2019-20 business plan, adding: “This outlined priorities such as reviewing remuneration practices that may encourage mis-selling and preventing mis-selling regarding defined-benefit pension transfers.”

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