FCA fines double for individuals but drop for firms

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The value of FCA fines against individuals more than doubled in the past year to reach £17m while fines against companies dropped by more than one third, law firm Clyde & Co has found.

In 2014/15, individuals were fined £7m. In the same period companies were fined £1.4bn which dropped to £880m in 2015/16.

Overall fines handed out by the regulator dropped by 36 per cent from £1.41bn in 2014/15 to £898m in 2015/16.

Clyde & Co attributed the drop in fines to fallout from major banking scandals coming to an end.

The 2014/15 total was inflated due to fines handed out to JP Morgan, Citibank, HSBC, RBS and UBS in relation to FX voice trading.

Clyde & Co partner John Whittaker says: “The big ticket fines from the recent banking scandals look to have dried up, but other cases may be in the pipeline. This year’s fines are still over double that of two years ago and there are no signs that the FCA is taking its foot off the gas.”

He adds: “The record fine handed out to a company this financial year shows that the regulator still has teeth and is not afraid of breaking records in order to punishing businesses that operate outside of the rules.”

Clyde & Co says an increase in individual fines is supported by the introduction of the senior managers’ regime. Under the regime, senior managers and some non-executive directors risk fines or bans from the industry unless they show they took all reasonable steps to prevent wrongdoing within their teams.

The regime is expected to be extended beyond banks, building societies and insurers by 2018.