The total amount in fines handed out by the FCA has increased 10 times in the past year, soaring from £22.2m in 2016 to £229.4m in 2017.
Even though fewer fines have been levied on firms, the penalties have been higher. Last year saw the lowest year on record for fines since the financial crisis.
The FCA has fined four companies over the past 12 months: Deutsche Bank, Rio Tinto, Merrill Lynch and Bluefin. Both Deutsche Bank and Rio Tinto were handed record-breaking fines by the UK watchdog in conjunction with the US authorities.
The FCA also fined eight individuals an aggregate £436,000, the Financial Times reports.
However, the level of fines still falls short of the totals seen in 2014 and 2015 when the Libor scandals were rife.
“A tenfold increase is significant but it’s worth remembering that this is the second-lowest year of fines over the past five years,” says John Whittaker, partner at Clyde & Co. “It appears that the regulator is continuing to place greater attention on individuals than in previous years. Recent regulatory changes, which are aimed at holding individuals to account for any behaviour that strays outside of the regulator’s rule book certainly supports this trend.”